Man who allegedly posed as an officer and assaulted sex workers kills himself after posting $1-million bail

Joseph Raymond Stanton, 42, of Long Beach killed himself after posting bail in a sex assaults case, Santa Ana police said.
(Santa Ana Police Department)

A man who allegedly posed as an undercover officer in a series of violent sexual assaults on prostitutes in Santa Ana killed himself days after he was arrested and posted $1-million bail, police said.

Joseph Raymond Stanton, 42, of Long Beach was arrested on June 29 on suspicion of kidnapping and raping two sex workers and in the attempted rape of a third victim, according to the Santa Ana Police Department. The next day, Stanton posted bail and was released from jail.

Then on July 1, Long Beach police found Stanton dead in an apartment in the 1200 block of 3rd Street. He left a suicide note and told people he had been contemplating killing himself, police said.

Last month, Santa Ana police asked for help with identifying the alleged rapist because they feared there could be more victims. Investigators released a sketch and provided details about the attacks.


Cpl. Anthony Bertagna, spokesman for the Santa Ana Police Department, said at least one sexual assault occurred in August and two other attacks occurred in January along Harbor Boulevard in Santa Ana. The victims were sex workers, who often travel along Harbor Boulevard from Anaheim to Costa Mesa.

In each of the violent attacks, the man posed as an undercover officer, Bertagna said.

Police said the man approached the women on Harbor Boulevard, and would then start talking to them and eventually force them into his car.

From there, police said the man drove the women to a remote area and sexually assaulted them.

To persuade the women he was an officer, the man carried a police scanner on him or in his car, Bertagna said.

Following calls for the public’s help, police said Stanton was identified as a suspect

Stanton’s DNA matched evidence collected from the rapes, police said.

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