Man gets 15 years in MySpace rapes [Updated]
A Yorba Linda man has been sentenced to 15 years in state prison for raping three women, including two he met on MySpace, the Orange County district attorney's office said Thursday.
Jason Ara Erpinar, 22, met two the women, one 18 and the other 22, on MySpace and asked them on dates. Prosecutors said he raped them after they became intoxicated.
The third woman, according to prosecutors, was Erpinar's ex-girlfriend, who told authorities he was physically abusive when they were dating and forced himself on her when she was a minor.
[Update, 7:16 p.m., Aug. 25: Erpinar was sentenced by Orange County Superior Court Judge James Rogan after pleading guilty to three counts of sexual assault stemming from incidents from 2006 to 2009 and said Mark Birney, an Orange County deputy district attorney.
During the sentencing, two of the women gave "powerful" victim impact statements to the court, Birney said.
One woman said she views Erpinar as less than human, Birney said. Another victim said it "makes her sick" to know that Erpinar tried to say the incident was consensual. "It was rape, and you know it; otherwise you wouldn’t have pleaded guilty," she said in court.
Erpinar's attorney, Robert Dennis Rentzer, declined to comment.
"My client elected not to make a statement, and therefore I have no statement to make," he said when reached by telephone Thursday.
On March 26, 2008, Erpinar invited one of the victims on a date after meeting her on MySpace. He and the woman drank alcohol at two Orange County parks, where the woman became severely intoxicated.
Erpinar then drove the woman to a Newport Beach hotel and raped her, according to the district attorney’s office.
When the woman woke up the next morning, she went to the hospital and reported the incident to the Newport Beach Police Department, but a criminal case was not filed due to insufficient evidence.
About a year later, Erpinar met another woman on MySpace and invited her to a La Habra house party. At the gathering, the woman became severely intoxicated and began to vomit. Prosecutors say Erpinar raped her on a bedroom floor. The woman reported the incident the next day to the La Habra Police Department.
During the investigation, La Habra police contacted Erpinar's ex-girlfriend, whom he dated for more than a year. Between August 2006 and October 2007, he raped her, according to the district attorney’s office.
The three woman do not know each other.
Birney said if Erpinar would have gone forward with a jury trial, he could have faced a maximum sentence of 24 years.
"It’s awful behavior, and while dating online has its perils, the fact is that this crime is a result of Mr. Erpinar’s behavior, not anyone else's," Birney said.]
One of the women Erpinar met through MySpace had a cracked tooth and several scrapes on her face when she woke up the morning after their encounter, prosecutors said. He was sentenced Wednesday.
-- Robert J. Lopez and Nicole Santa Cruz
Photo: Jason Ara Erpinar. Credit: Orange County district attorney's office