|For Immediate Release
October 7, 2008
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
DNA LINKS MAN IN CUSTODY TO 1990 CHRISTMAS EVE GANG RAPE OF WOMAN WHO WAS OUT
WITH HER DOG
*Law enforcement is seeking the public’s help in finding an unidentified suspect from the same sexual assault
WESTMINSTER – The Orange County District Attorney (OCDA) and Huntington Beach Police Department (HBPD) announced the arrest and filing of charges of a forcible gang rape suspect from Christmas Eve, 1990, after a DNA sample was linked to a man serving time on an unrelated charge. OCDA and HBPD are asking for the public’s help to bring the second unidentified suspect into custody.
Joseph Hyungmin Son, 37, was arrested today on a warrant by HBPD detectives while serving time for a probation violation on an unrelated felony vandalism case at the Theo Lacy Facility. For this case, Son was charged on Oct. 1, 2008, with five felony counts of forcible rape, two felony counts of forcible sodomy, two felony counts of sodomy in concert by force, seven felony counts of forcible oral copulations, one felony count of sexual penetration by foreign object by force, and sentencing enhancements for kidnapping to commit sexual assault, personal use of a firearm, use of a firearm during a sex offense, and great bodily injury to sexual assault victim. He faces a maximum sentence of 275 years to life if convicted. The defendant is being held on $1 million bail. Son is scheduled to be arraigned on Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2008, at 8:30 a.m. in Department W-14 or 15, West Justice Center, Westminster.
FACTS OF THE CRIME
On Dec. 24, 1990, at about 12:30 a.m., Jane Doe was walking back to her apartment with her dog after going to look at Christmas lights with a relative and friend. As she was walking, with her purse and her dog in hand, Son is accused of distracting Jane Doe by asking for directions and pretending he was lost. Son and another suspect are accused of forcibly dragging Jane Doe to their car, throwing her in the back, and driving away. Jane Doe’s purse was later retrieved at the scene, but her dog was never found again.
While driving to Huntington Beach, the defendant and the unknown suspect are accused of telling her they are driving to Compton, pistol whipping her, and threatening to kill her repeatedly. The defendant is accused of repeatedly raping, sodomizing, and forcing Jane Doe to orally copulate him in the back of the car. The unidentified suspect is also accused of raping Jane Doe and forcing her to orally copulate him. The defendant is accused of penetrating her vagina with a firearm. The defendant is accused of threatening to kill the victim and counting the bullets in the gun, as Jane Doe pleaded for her life.
The defendant and the unidentified suspect are accused of finally allowing Jane Doe to leave naked and with her pants tied around her eyes. Jane Doe went to a nearby home and the homeowners called the police. Jane Doe suffered great physical injuries as a result of the sexual assault. The police collected evidence from Jane Doe and the original crime scene. The defendant pleaded guilty to felony vandalism on May 16, 2008, and was given 60 days in the Orange County Jail and placed on probation. The defendant was given an additional 90 days on a probation violation on Aug. 18, 2008, and taken into custody. As a condition of his original plea, Son was required to provide a DNA sample. Son’s DNA sample provided in 2008 was linked to DNA collected at the scene.