Sunday, September 11, 2011

Joseph Son, Actor, sentenced to life in prison for gang rape

Joseph Son, an actor who appeared in the first "Austin Powers" movie was sentenced Friday to life in prison without the possibility of parole in the violent 1990 gang rape of a Southern California woman.

Joseph Son who is 40 years old, was found guilty of one felony count of torture Aug. 25 after being connected to the crime through DNA evidence.

Son and co-defendant Santiago Lopez Gaitan, 40, abducted the then-19-year-old victim as she was walking her dog by her apartment on Christmas Eve.

Son and Gaitan drove the woman to Huntington Beach and repetitively raped and sodomized her in the back of the car at gunpoint. They also pistol-whipped her and repeatedly threatened to kill her, counting the bullets and telling her she was going to die.

Prosecutors say the woman, identified in court papers as Jane Doe, begged for her life earlier than Son and Gaitan unconfined her, naked, roughly wounded and blindfolded with her own pants. She went to a local home, and called the police.

Proof was gathered from the woman that Christmas Eve, but the case ultimately went cold.

It wasn't until Son pleaded guilty to criminal act vandalism in 2008 and violated probation that he was necessary to give a DNA sample. That sample was linked to DNA collected from Doe in 1990.

Gaitan pleaded guilty in January to five felonies, counting kidnapping and sodomy by force in concert. He was sentenced to 17 years and four months in state prison.


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