That's now twice that he's been found guilty of the same trio of rapes. Jason Ara Erpinar, 23, pled guilty last year to raping his ex-girlfriend and two other women that he met on MySpace. After he was sentenced to fifteen years, he reconsidered the matter and filed a motion to withdrawal his plea. The judge, for some unknown reason, granted the motion.
Yesterday, he was found gulty again - this time by a jury. According to the Los Angeles Times, Erpinar not only withdrew his plea, but also decided to represent himself. This meant all three victims would have to relive the attacks, again, in court, while being cross-examined by their attacker.
Deputy District Attorney Mark Birney stated that Erpinar seemed to enjoy the experience. The jury wasn’t nearly as amused. They convicted him of two counts of rape by intoxication and one count of rape by force.
Erpinar’s first victim was his girlfriend. The rape happened in 2007; the abusive relationship lasted until 2009.
His second victim was a 22-year-old woman that he met on MySpace in 2008. The two went to a couple of Orange County Parks, drank, and then Erpinar raped her in a Newport Beach motel room. She awoke with a cracked tooth and scrapes on her face, reports the Times.
His third victim, an 18-year-old woman, also met him on MySpace. He took her to a house party, where he raped her after she became intoxicated.
Thanks to the withdrawn plea and subsequent guilty verdicts, Erpinar now faces a maximum of twenty-four years in prison. But why was the withdrawn plea allowed in the first place?
In California, if a person was not represented by counsel, the court must allow them to withdrawal their plea if the sentence has not yet been entered. If they were represented by counsel, then the court may allow them to pull back their plea.
However, the defendant must also show good cause for withdrawing the plea, such as an incompetent attorney, mistake as to sentencing, or ignorance of some other consequence of a guilty plea, such as immigration problems or medical license revocation.
To be quite frank, we have no idea why Erpinar’s plea was withdrawn. Without access to the case file, we really couldn’t tell you. What we do know is that thanks to the switch, the twice-convicted serial rapist could end up serving more time.
- Discuss Your Case with a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney (FindLaw)
- Man Convicted of Raping Three Women, Two of Whom he Met on Myspace (Orange County District Attorney’s Office)
- Defendant Needs Fair and Just Reason to Withdraw Guilty Plea (FindLaw’s Eighth Circuit Blog)
- Will Juror Misconduct Give ‘Zoloft Rapist’ New Trial? (FindLaw’s Los Angeles Criminal Law Blog)