Prosecutors toss out 3 rape cases in 2 months


In the last two months, three men have been arrested on suspicion of rape in three separate and unrelated cases, but not one of them is going to trial.

In each arrest, prosecutors with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office have declined to prosecute the suspects due to insufficient evidence.

On Thursday, The Signal asked a spokeswoman for the DA: “What are some of the key challenges prosecutors face in bringing rape cases to trial?”

The DA’s official response was: “no comment.”

Deputies with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station arrested an 18-year-old Lancaster man accused of raping a young woman on campus at College of the Canyons this past summer.

Prosecutors revealed on Sept. 11 that they would not be pursuing the case against him.

“On Sept. 11, the case was declined due to insufficient evidence,” Ricardo Santiago of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office told The Signal.

The incident which sparked the arrest prompted college officials to take action.

“After the incident was reported on Wednesday, Aug. 2, Assistant Superintendent Michael Wilding notified college employees and students via email that an alleged crime had taken place on campus,” COC spokesman Eric Harnish told The Signal last month.

“We are committed to creating a safe learning environment for students and employees, so our policy is to notify the campus community when we learn that a violent crime has been reported on campus,” he said at the time of the incident.

In a second and unrelated case, deputies arrested a 32-year-old Valencia construction worker on suspicion of rape by force or fear.

The man was arrested on the morning of Sept. 10.  Two days later, when deputies submitted their documentation to the DA, prosecutors announced they were declining the case due to insufficient evidence, Santiago said.

In a third case of alleged rape, a 31-year-old Canyon Country man who works at a car wash was also arrested on Oct. 23, on suspicion of rape by force or fear.

He, too, was spared from prosecution when the District Attorney’s Office revealed they would not be pursuing the case – again due to insufficient evidence.

As well, a fourth case of stalking – a felony – filed against a 55-year-old salesman from Canyon Country arrested on Aug. 29, was tossed out on Sept. 11 due to insufficient evidence.

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