UPDATE, JULY 25, 7:56 A.M.: The Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA) is seeking other possible victims of suspected serial rapist Travis Dewayne Batten, Jr. of Irvine.
The 29-year-old is facing felony counts that could put him behind bars from 157 to 204 years with a conviction.
The OCDA lays out its case against the Fletcher Jones Motor Cars mechanic and explains how to contact investigators seeking other potential victims after the jump . . .
July 22, 2011
OCDA SEEKS PUBLIC'S HELP IN IDENTIFYING POTENTIAL ADDITIONAL VICTIMS OF MAN CHARGED WITH THREE SEXUAL ASSAULTS OF WOMEN IN IRVINE AND NEWPORT BEACH
NEWPORT BEACH - The Orange County District Attorney is seeking the public's help in identifying potential additional victims of a man who was charged today with the sexual assaults of three women in the cities of Irvine and Newport Beach. Travis Dewayne Batten, Jr., 29, Irvine, was arraigned this afternoon on three felony counts of forcible rape, two felony counts of assault with intent to commit sexual offense during commission of first degree burglary, two felony counts of forcible oral copulation, and one felony count each of assault with intent to commit sexual offense, sodomy by force, sexual penetration by foreign object by force, dissuading a witness by force or threat, kidnapping to commit rape, and first degree residential burglary. He is also charged with sentencing enhancement allegations for committing sexual offenses during the commission of a burglary, tying up or binding a person, and sexual assault of multiple victims. If convicted, Batten faces a sentence ranging from 157 years to life up to 204 years to life in state prison. He is being held without bail and is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing, August 1, 2011, at 8:30 a.m. in Department H-1, Harbor Justice Center, Newport Beach.
Between May 2005 and July 2010, Batten is accused breaking into the residences of three women he did not know while wearing a mask. He is accused of raping two Irvine women and sexually assaulting a third living in Newport Beach. Both Irvine attacks occurred at residences in the same apartment complex, Amherst Apartments. Prior to both Irvine attacks, residents contacted police reporting a suspicious man and/or vehicle in and around the area.
At approximately 9:00 p.m. on May 20, 2005, Batten, then-23, is accused of wearing a mask and breaking into the Newport Beach residence of 40-year-old Jane Doe #1 while she was out. When the victim arrived home, the defendant is accused of attacking her and throwing Jane Doe #1 to the ground. Batten is accused of forcing the victim to her bedroom, duct taping her hands and over her mouth, and sexually assaulting the victim. He is accused of sexually assaulting Jane Doe #1's breasts and vagina. Batten is then accused of punching the victim twice in the head and threatening the victim by stating he would come back and get her if she contacted police. He is accused of fleeing the scene. Jane Doe #1 called 911.
Newport Beach Police Department officers responded to the scene and investigated the case. Batten is accused of leaving DNA at the scene, which was collected by police, processed by Orange County Crime Lab (OCCL), and entered in the local and State DNA databases.
At approximately 11:30 p.m. on Nov. 30, 2006, Batten is accused of wearing a dark mask and breaking into the Irvine apartment of 21-year-old Jane Doe #2. While the victim was showering, the defendant is accused of waiting outside of the victim's bathroom. He is accused of raping Jane Doe #2 as he exited her bathroom throwing her to the ground and tying her hands. Batten is accused of sodomizing the victim and raping her a second time. Before fleeing the scene, the defendant ordered the victim to get into the shower and not to contact police. Jane Doe #2 called 911.
Irvine Police Department (IPD) officers investigated the case. Batten is accused of leaving DNA at the scene, which was processed by OCCL and entered into the local and State DNA databases. The DNA was matched to the DNA collected in the 2005 sexual assault.
At approximately 12:00 a.m. on July 8, 2010, the defendant is accused of breaking into the Irvine apartment of 24-year-old Jane Doe #3 while wearing a mask. Batten is accused of gaining access into the home while the victim was showering. He is accused of attacking Jane Doe #3, throwing her to the ground and binding her hands. Batten is accused of raping Jane Doe #3 and forcing the victim to engage in mutual oral copulation. He is accused of ordering the victim to get in the shower and not to call police before fleeing the scene. Jane Doe #3 called 911.
IPD investigated this case. The defendant is accused of leaving DNA at the scene, which was collected by police and processed by OCCL. Based on the DNA, it was determined that the three sexual assaults had been perpetrated by the same person. IPD continued to receive complaints of a suspicious man in the same Irvine neighborhood where the two prior attacks occurred. Batten was linked to the crimes as a result of further investigation and arrested July 21, 2011, while driving to Fletcher Jones Motorcars dealership in Newport Beach, where he works as a mechanic.
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with additional information or who believes they have been a victim is encouraged to contact Supervising District Attorney Investigator Lou Gutierrez at (714) 347-8794 or Irvine Police Department detectives at (949) 724-7194.
Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Walker of the Sexual Assault Unit is prosecuting this case.
UPDATE, JULY 21, 1:55 P.M.: The Irvine Police Department released the booking photo at right of a suspected serial rapist blamed for sexual assaults in Irvine and Newport Beach from May 2005 through July 2010.
Cops also corrected the spelling of the suspect's name: Travis Dewayne Batten, Jr.
ORIGINAL POST, JULY 21, 11:20 A.M.: All Irvine Police detectives had to go on investigating a sexual assault in November 2006 was DNA evidence collected at the scene. It wound up matching DNA collected at a Newport Beach rape scene 18 months earlier.
Working the cases later produced a latent fingerprint from the May 2005 rape in Newps. But the forensics evidence was of little use without a match to prints or DNA samples of someone in the crime database.
That all changed yesterday.
Wednesday afternoon, Irvine and Newport Beach police investigators working together arrested 29-year-old Travis Dewayne
Batton Batten, Jr. of Irvine. He was later booked into the Orange County Jail for multiple counts of rape and other felonies for sexual assaults dating back to May 2005. He is being held without bail.
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The trail that led to the arrest re-opened on July 7, 2010, when a sexual assault was reported in the same residential complex as the November 2006 case. Again, DNA was recovered and it ultimately matched that collected at the 2005 and 2006 rape scenes. And, again, the new case started to chill because of no database matches and the assault victim being unable to describe her attacker's face or physique.
But the location similarities prompted Irvine detectives to conduct uniformed and undercover patrols of the area. Last month, Irvine police received a report of suspicious person prowling in the same area as the assaults. Detectives stepped up surveillance of the area, and some leads helped the department narrow in on an unknown number of suspects.
An Irvine police statement released this morning does not describe exactly how it was done, but detectives were able to obtain fingerprints from these people of interest. Police say Batten's "positively matched" the print recovered in Newport Beach six years ago.
Batten's booking photo is expected to be released later today, according to Irvine Police Lt. Julia Engen, who added detectives are trying to determine if there are other victims out there. If you know anything that can help the case, call Irvine detectives at 949.724.7194.