Week in Review : MAJOR EVENTS, IMAGES AND PEOPLE IN ORANGE COUNTY NEWS. : COURTS : Man Falsely Convicted of Rape Helps Catch Guilty Parties
A man who served 3 1/2 years in prison for a rape he did not commit helped authorities gather evidence against the five men who did, and last week all five pleaded guilty.
David J. Navarro, 25, of Santa Fe Springs was convicted of the 1981 gang rape of a woman at Huntington Beach State Park on the basis of the victim’s testimony. Navarro denied that he had participated.
Last year the 4th District Court of Appeal found that the identification was weak and that corroborating evidence was lacking. The court reversed the conviction.
While awaiting a new trial, Navarro agreed to cooperate with the Orange County district attorney’s office by returning to his old neighborhood wearing a concealed tape recorder. As the tape rolled, the five gang members confessed their crime to him.