Officer Convicted in Rapes

Times Staff Writer

A Superior Court jury Tuesday convicted a Los Angeles police officer of raping three women while on duty early last year.

LAPD Officer Joseph Evan Robinson, 26, a three-year veteran who has been placed on unpaid leave, is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 24 by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Norman P. Tarle.

The jury of nine women and three men convicted Robinson of 14 counts, including kidnapping to commit rape, forcible rape and other sexual attacks. He faces multiple life sentences for the attacks, which occurred in South Los Angeles. The jury deliberated 2 1/2 days before reaching its verdict.


Robinson’s lawyers, Ira Salzman and Robert Rico, said they will file motions for a new trial and argue for a more lenient sentence.

Salzman said that his client “is extremely disappointed” and that “he maintains his innocence.”

Deputy Dist. Atty. Margo Baxter said the 77th Street Division officer had threatened to arrest or jail the three victims on various charges unless they agreed to have sex with him.

Salzman argued that there was no scientific evidence connecting Robinson to the attacks. Although DNA was gathered, none of it conclusively excluded or included Robinson as a possible source, Salzman said.

One attack occurred in a motel room, another in an alley and a third in the back seat of a patrol vehicle, according to testimony. The incidents happened Jan. 28, Feb. 27 and March 29, 2002. Robinson was arrested May 7.