James Ernest Bledsoe, Sex Offender Who Tried to Beat Rape Rap by Fleeing to Mexico, Gets His Day in Court

A 2007 date-rape investigation in Huntington Beach is culminating in the trial this week of a registered sex offender who is accused of videotaping himself raping multiple women in his Surf City apartment.

And 30-year-old James Ernest Bledsoe may have gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for those dang cops who nabbed him just before he crossed the border into Mexico.

Here's the initial Huntington Beach Police Department bulletin from 2007:

On Saturday, December 15th at 323am officers were sent to the 16000 block of Lynn Street reference a date rape. The victim indicated that she was assaulted and raped at the suspect's apartment. The suspect was identified as James Bledsoe, a high risk sex offender on parole for 288 PC (Lewd act on a child). Bledsoe ran from the area after learning that the police were contacted. His car, a silver 2003 BMW was found nearby and impounded. Officers in the early morning hours spoke with Bledsoe by phone. He agreed to turn himself in, however has not done so.

Efforts to locate Bledsoe continued throughout the day. Officers went to an apartment complex near Warner and Lynn. Bledsoe was observed running from the complex. An intensive search was conducted in the area however Bledsoe was not located.

Bledsoe is wanted for a $100,000 Ramey arrest warrant and for violating his parole. Anyone with information regarding Bledsoe current whereabouts is asked to immediately contact the police department via 911. The lead investigator is Detective Weizoerick.

James Ernest Bledsoe, Sex Offender Who Tried to Beat Rape Rap by Fleeing to Mexico, Gets His Day in Court
Photo by Toksave/Wikipedia Commons

And here's the bulletin from the next day, after Bledsoe was apprehended within sprinting distance of Mexico.

On Sunday, December 16th Huntington Beach detectives received information that James Bledsoe may be attempting to flee to Mexico. Huntington Beach police officers responded to San Ysidro in an effort to locate him. At approx. 736 pm Bledsoe was detained while walking toward Mexico by San Diego PD officers. After being detained, he used a false name. He heard via the police radio that Huntington Beach officers were nearby with his picture. Upon hearing this he took off running. A short foot pursuit took place and he was taken into custody at 710 E. San Ysidro Blvd. Bledsoe possessed two thousand dollars in cash at the time of his arrest. Bledsoe was transported and booked at the Huntington Beach jail.

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Being investigated for raping a 27-year-old woman in his apartment in the 16000 block of Lynn Street in Huntington Beach, Bledsoe already had a hefty rap sheet. He pleaded guilty to an assault with a deadly weapon charge in 2001 and possession of marijuana for sale in 2003. In December of that same year, he copped to a lewd or lascivious act with a minor charge. Two other counts of forcible lewd acts against a child, another count of lewd or lascivious act with a minor and a count contributing to the delinquency of a minor were dismissed. He was sentenced to three years in state prison.

This week, Bledsoe's defense attorneys argue that he dated the women leveling accusations against him, boozed it up with them and had consensual sex with them. That's not how Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Walker is telling it. She claims Bledsoe, on parole for the lewd act with a child charge, targeted the youngest women at bars, assuming they would be easier to ply with alcohol and take advantage of. He got their phone numbers and called later for dates.

The defense claims it was Bledsoe who handed police the evidence that is now being used against him. He sought to protect himself by having his mother give cops a DVD that he believed proved his sex with one accuser was consensual, claims his lawyer, who adds that as a registered sex offender, his client taped his sexual encounters to protect himself.

Instead, it led to a search of Bledsoe's home that produced a cache of DVDs labeled with dates and names of women.
 
Based on testimony, the investigation and a City News Service report, here are some of his alleged victims and their incidents:

Lana: She is shown in a July 2007 video refusing to have sex, explaining she was too drunk to enjoy it. That did not stop Bledsoe, who tosses her around in various sexual positions before the camera. At the end, he is heard asking her if she was awake, claiming he thought she had been the whole time. Lana suffered flu-like symptoms the next day, but although she was suspicious that something had happened on their date, she agreed to go out with him a couple more times--making sure not to drink. The relationship ended when Lana refused to take a drink from Bledsoe who, she claims, dropped a little blue pill into the glass. He became irate when confronted about it, according to Walker.

James Ernest Bledsoe, Sex Offender Who Tried to Beat Rape Rap by Fleeing to Mexico, Gets His Day in Court

Sarah: The 21-year-old who was given a drink after being picked up for a date in October 2007 has little recollection of that evening, other than knowing she awoke in a man's boxer shorts and shirt. The morning after, she suffered from such severe flu-like symptoms she went to the hospital. She declined when asked if she wanted a rape kit test, believing she did not need one. Bad call. The DVD shows Sarah mumbling incoherently as Bledsoe performs sex acts on her listless body in front of the camera. At one point, he pulls her up by her hair to keep her upright. After she barfs on him, he tosses her off of him.

Holly: She got so drunk one night at Sutra nightclub in Costa Mesa, she threw up. Bledsoe offered her a ride home, and she has little recollection beyond that. She did remember waking up in a strange place with four people, including Bledsoe, asking if she was OK. The DVD fills in some blanks. It shows Holly going into a hot tub and being handed a drink by Bledsoe. Within moments, she is yelling "no, no, no" and crying in pain as he penetrates her, according to Walker.

Among the prosecution witnesses is Bledsoe's neighbor, who claims the defendant told him he singled out young women because they are easiest to get drunk and hook up with, and that he liked to videotape himself having sex with these conquests. The man also claims to have seen a little blue pill in a pool of vomit next to Bledsoe's car.

Naturally, the defendant claims he is being falsely accused, and his defense plans to use science to prove it. Or lack thereof. His alleged victims have produced no actual pills or blood tests that show he ever drugged them. The only thing Bledsoe is guilty of, claim his lawyers, is poor judgment.

Speaking of judging, he faces two counts each of rape, rape of an unconscious person and rape by use of drugs, one count each of assault with intent to commit a felony, oral copulation by force, oral copulation of an unconscious person, oral copulation by a controlled substance, sexual penetration of an unconscious victim, sexual penetration with an intoxicating substance and sexual penetration with a foreign object. He's also slapped with four misdemeanor counts of invasion of privacy and failure to register as a sex offender.

The defense has characterized the last accusation as a clerical error by Bledsoe.


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