The good news for a Fullerton man who raped four women in Orange County and six more in Los Angeles County between 1997 and 2006 is that 323 years have been shaved off his prison sentence.
The bad news is that left 441 years remaining--and the California Supreme Court Tuesday refused to review Robert Charles Lee's case.
That means a Sept. 19 ruling by a three-justice panel from the state's Second District Court of Appeal stands. It rejected the defense's contention of insufficient evidence to support Lee's conviction for forcible oral copulation and forcible rape in a 2001 attack and use of a knife in the rape of another woman in 2005.
The appellate justices also reduced Lee's original 764 year prison sentence to 441 years and eight months to life.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Larry P. Fidler imposed the longer sentence in April 2012, a month after jurors found Lee guilty of numerous felony counts related to his raping women in their homes in Brea, Carson, Gardena and LA. One victim was raped twice, most were held at knife-point and some were elderly and disabled.
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The defense claimed prosecutors had the wrong man, that some victims described the attacker as a short Hispanic man while Lee is black and 6-foot-1. But Deputy District Attorney Martha Carrillo countered DNA evidence linked Lee to the rapes.
His appeal was based on their being no pattern or commonality between the crimes.
Other than the women being raped in their homes, of course.