UPDATE, JULY 7, 5:01 P.M.: Orange County Superior Court Judge Thomas Goethals ruled Wednesday that Akeem Jelani Johnson must stand trial for allegedly raping a drunken Australian tourist outside Godfather's Bar in Tustin that day after Thanksgiving 2010.
However, Goethals dismissed charges against 27-year-old Johnson's alleged accessory.
Tustin resident Johnson is scheduled to be arraigned July 19 on one felony count of rape by use of an intoxicating substance. Conviction could stick him in a state prison cell for eight years.
But the judge ruled there was not enough evidence to hold Bradley Joseph Stelly, also 27 and from Tustin, over for trial on one felony count of accessory after the fact.
Based on witness statements, Tustin police arrested Stelly on Nov. 29 because he had been standing near the SUV in which his buddy Johnson allegedly raped the woman. Stelly was also seen carrying the woman out of the vehicle. But Goethels said no evidence presented showed that Stelly knew the woman had been raped.
Police have never identified a third man who was with Stelly that night.
UPDATE, JAN. 10, 5:23 P.M.: The Orange County district attorney's
office has released to the media surveillance photos taken from
Godfather's bar in Tustin early Nov. 26, 2010, of a man who is believed
to have participated in helping facilitate a woman's rape:
ORIGINAL POST, JAN. 10, 10:47 A.M.: The public is being asked to help identify a man who helped to lift a drunken woman who had just been raped out of his friend's SUV and place her onto a dirty mattress in an alley next to Godfather's bar in Tustin early Nov. 26.
Akeem Jelani Johnson, 27, of Tustin, has already been charged with one felony count of rape by use of an intoxicating substance in the case, which has also snared Bradley Joseph Stelly, 27, of Tustin, for suspected felony accessory after the fact. That count also awaits a third man seen in surveillance video from the bar, according to the following Orange County district attorney's office statement that also reveals a fourth man who has been identified could still be charged.
Jan. 7, 2011
LAW ENFORCEMENT SEEKS PUBLIC'S HELP IDENTIFYING MAN WHO ASSISTED IN DUMPING INTOXICATED WOMAN IN ALLEY AFTER RAPE BY FRIEND
SANTA ANA – Law enforcement is seeking the public's help in identifying a
man who assisted in dumping an intoxicated woman in an alley after his
friend raped her in the back of a car. Two defendants have been charged
in this case, and the identity of the third man is unknown. Akeem Jelani
Johnson, 27, Tustin, is charged with one felony count of rape by use of
an intoxicating substance and faces a maximum sentence of eight years
in state prison if convicted. He is out of custody on $100,000 bail.
Bradley Joseph Stelly, 27, Tustin, is charged with one felony count of
accessory after the fact and faces a maximum sentence of three years in
state prison if convicted. He is out of custody on $20,000 bail. Johnson
and Stelly are scheduled for a pretrial hearing Jan. 27, 2011, at 9 a.m. in Department C-55, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
A fourth man was present with the defendants at the time of the crime.
He has been identified by law enforcement, but his name has not been
released pending further investigation and possible filing of criminal
Sometime between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. on Nov. 26, 2010, Johnson,
Stelly and an unidentified friend are accused of talking with
47-year-old Jane Doe, whom they met for the first time that night, at
Godfather's bar in Tustin. The victim was in Orange County from
Australia visiting family and was visibly intoxicated, including
unsteady balance and difficulty walking without assistance.
Johnson is accused of taking the unsteady victim outside to his parked
sport-utility vehicle (SUV) and putting her in the back seat. He is
accused of raping her in his car while she was unable to resist due to
intoxication. Stelly and the unidentified friend are accused of standing
directly outside the vehicle during the rape, knowing that the victim
was intoxicated and being assaulted inside.
After the rape, Johnson is accused of getting out of the vehicle. The
three defendants are accused of lifting the partially clothed Jane Doe from
the car by holding her arms and feet in the air and carrying her into
the alley on the side of the bar. They are accused of dumping her body
on an old, dirty mattress and fleeing the scene. A witness who observed
the victim being carried called 911 and provided the license-plate
number from the defendants' SUV.
Officers from the Tustin Police Department (TPD) responded to the scene
and located Jane Doe in the alley on the mattress. She was unresponsive,
incoherent and unable to stand without assistance due to alcohol
Johnson was arrested later that day based on the license-plate number
provided by the witness. Stelly was arrested Nov. 29, 2010, after
additional investigation by TPD. The identity of the third man is
unknown. Surveillance photographs of the man taken inside the bar are
available to the media.
Anyone with additional information as to the identity of the third man
is encouraged to contact Tustin Police Detective Bonnie Breeze at (714)
573-3240 or Supervising District Attorney Investigator Randy Litwin at
Deputy District Attorney Jess Rodriguez of the Orange County District Attorney's Sexual Assault Unit is prosecuting this case.