James Ernest Bledsoe: Huntington Beach Rapist Goes Down
Parolee James Ernest Bledsoe was a registered sex offender and sported crooked teeth, Dumbo-sized ears and a bowl haircut.
But some women in Huntington Beach and Costa Mesa bars couldn't resist Bledsoe.
The 30-year-old managed to get more than 30 women to leave local drinking holes to visit his bachelor pad, where he secretly DVD-recorded his sexual assaults.
Bledsoe's game officially ended late yesterday. An Orange County jury rejected his claim that the sexual encounters were consensual. Jurors convicted him of committing multiple felonies and misdemeanors involving four of the women.
According to prosecutor Jennifer Walker, Bledsoe had a secret weapon to score: he got the women either so intoxicated or drugged that they were incoherent before he assaulted them.
Walker's key evidence? Bledsoe's secret DVD recordings.
This can't be repeated often enough for California men--especially college men: It is illegal to have sex with a person who is incoherent or not mentally able to give consent. Intoxication is not your ticket to score. Is that so difficult to grasp?
Bledsoe won't need to try to master that simple lesson anymore. Orange County Superior Court Judge John Conley will punish him with--get this--a likely minimum 100-year prison term at his January sentencing hearing.
(His ugly past helped bolster the pending punishment. He was convicted in 2003 for committing lewd and lascivious acts on a minor and sentenced to prison for three years. He has also been convicted of assault with a deadly weapon and possession of marijuana with intent to sell, according to court records.)
Bledsoe's good news? He'll have to keep the Dumbo ears, but he can get those crooked teeth fixed at taxpayer expense in the slammer.
--R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Orange County, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.