When we Gazed our Navel on MySpace rapist Jason Ara Erpinar and his unicorn-follicle horn being tried the first time in August 2011, we received comments from his pals claiming there is no way the Yorba Linda 23-year-old sexually assaulted three woman, that we were out to get him and that his victims conspired to construct their "stories"--even though none knew one another before his arrest. Erpinar later pleaded guilty, withdrew the plea, got a new trial--and was found guilty by a jury Thursday.
While dating Erpinar when she was 18, a woman was physically abused by him and, between May and October 2007, he raped her by force three times. She actually came forward to tell La Habra Police investigators about the assaults after Erpinar had been arrested for raping two women he met on MySpace in 2008 and 2009.
The first was a 22-year-old Erpinar invited on a date on March 26, 2008. They went to two Orange County parks and drank alcohol, so much that the woman was left drunk off her ass. Erpinar then drove her to a Newport Beach hotel where he raped her.
Erpinar was gone the next morning when the woman awoke with a cracked tooth and several scrapes to her face. She went to the hospital and reported the rape to the Newport Beach Police Department, but no charges were filed due to insufficient evidence at that time.
Our Don Juan with the There's Something About Mary 'do also met an 18-year-old woman on MySpace, and by phone and e-mail he invited her to a March 7, 2009, house party in La Habra, where she would become drunk off her ass to the point of blowing chunks. That did not stop Erpinar from raping her on a bedroom floor.
She reported the assault to the La Habra Police Department the next day, and Erpinar was arrested. Investigators for the police and prosecution then linked him to the previous rapes.
Erpinar pleaded guilty to all the charges against him on Aug. 24, 2011, and he was sentenced to 15 years in state prison. At that hearing in Fullerton, the first rape victim Erpinar met through MySpace, by then age 25, tearfully told the court that the man would cease to exist in her eyes, calling him "a disgrace to the human race."
Because of the rape, she said she had trouble trusting people and was uncomfortable around people she didn't know. But she added she refused to allow Erpinar's sick acts define her, believing she could finally "find closure."
The woman Erpinar raped at the La Habra house party watched from the gallery.
An investigator with the Orange County District attorney's office (OCDA) read a victim-impact statement from Erpinar's ex-girlfriend, who expressed hopes he will spend his prison time reflecting on his crimes, that he will never attack again and that the rapes will "haunt" him wherever he goes.
"It makes me sick to know that you were trying to say this was consensual," she wrote. "Were you deaf to the fact that I said NO? It was rape and you know it, otherwise you wouldn't have pleaded guilty. You hurt me more then you know physically, mentally and emotionally."
She wrote of suffering depression and quitting school and work because she "felt dirty" before ending with this parting shot: "I hope that someday you get raped."
Figuring out just exactly how much prison time 15 years represents--a stretch quite long enough to fulfill his ex's wish, by the way--Erpinar made a motion on Oct. 26, 2011, to withdraw his guilty plea.
The judge granted it.
The case was sent for jury trial, and the OCDA had to make the painful call to the women explaining they would each have to re-live their nightmares all over again in court.
All three testified against Erpinar.
The jury Thursday found him guilty of two felony counts of rape by intoxication and one felony count of forcible rape.
He could get up to 24 years in state prison at his sentencing scheduled for Oct. 26 at Fullerton's North Justice Center. Should he get the max, that just extends the opportunity for his ex's wish to come true.
Sadly, the dozens and dozens of back-and-forth comments from Erpinar's former schoolmates debating whether he was a royal douche back in the day have mysteriously disappeared from our original report:
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But you do get a gist from the following update of the online (and anonymous, natch) campaign against the women--as well as the vigorous defense of them:
For their sake, here's hoping this ends it.