October 21, 2017

“Myspace Rapist” Gets The Maximum Possible Sentence

Add this to the already numerous reasons you should always background check people you meet online.

A Pattern of Violent Behavior

Jason Ara Erpinar, a 24-year-old man from Yorba Linda, California, was sentenced to 24 years in prison for raping three women, two of which he met on the social network Myspace. “The Myspace Rapist,” as he has been dubbed by news outlets, met his first victim in high school. According to the prosecutor in the case, Erpinar assaulted her after the two dated for a year. While he only faced a charge for a single rape in that case, evidence in court suggested he actually raped her several times.

Erpinar found his second victim on Myspace and they met in-person after he asked her out on a date. They visited two parks in Orange County and drank alcohol. When his second victim became very intoxicated, he took her to a Newport Beach hotel and raped her. She reportedly woke up with a cracked tooth and lacerations on her face. The 22-year-old woman contacted the police to report the incident, but at the time there wasn’t enough evidence to prosecute him.

Erpinar raped his third victim—who he also met on Myspace—after asking her to attend a party. At the party, the 18-year-old became so intoxicated she vomited. She called the police to report the assault the next day.

When Erpinar was finally brought to justice, he pleaded guilty as part of a generous plea deal. In exchange for the guilty plea he would only serve 15 years in prison for the three counts of rape. But for unknown reasons, Erpinar withdrew his plea in October of 2011 and the case went to trial. He dismissed his attorneys and chose to represent himself, arguing that the sex with all three girls was consensual.

“He is a very difficult defendant to deal with,” said Deputy District Attorney Mark Birney, “He’s a narcissistic, sociopathic, serial rapist. He is without sympathy for anyone else’s feelings whether they are physical or emotional.”

Bad Legal Decisions

The fact that Erpinar chose to represent himself intensified an already highly-emotional trial. When one of Erpinar’s victims took the stand, she had to endure being cross-examined by her own rapist.

He was eventually found guilty for two counts of rape by intoxication and one count of forcible rape. When Orange County Superior Court Judge, James Rogan, handed down his sentence, it became evident that rejecting the plea deal was part of a long string of bad decisions. Instead of the 15-year sentence Erpinar was going to originally serve, he will now have to serve 24 years behind bars—the maximum legal sentence. Additionally, he will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

“It’s very deserving in Mr. Erpinar’s case,” Birney said.

The people of Orange County, along with users of Myspace, will be able to rest easy knowing that Erpinar is safely locked away.

Barry Redford is a blogger from Pierre, South Dakota. He writes about criminal law, social media, and marketing.

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