Rapist who met victims in Costa Mesa convicted

A registered sex offender who targeted women he met in a Costa Mesa nightclub was convicted Thursday of sexually assaulting four women in 2007 and videotaping his crimes.

James Ernest Bledsoe, 30, of Huntington Beach was found guilty of felony forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, sexual penetration by a foreign object by force, failure to register as a sex offender and four misdemeanor counts. He previously was convicted of child molestation.

Bledsoe faces a minimum of 100 years to life in state prison at his sentencing, scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Jan. 13 at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana.

The victims will have an opportunity to speak at the sentencing, according to the Orange County district attorney's office.

The first attack took place June 30 at a Costa Mesa nightclub, where Bledsoe offered a ride home to a woman who had passed out after drinking at the bar. Instead, he drove her to his apartment, where he raped and digitally penetrated her. The woman reported the rape to police but could not identify Bledsoe.

On July 15 and Oct. 8, Bledsoe took two different women on dates to a Huntington Beach bar, then brought them back to his home and raped them. According to the district attorney's office, the second victim appeared unconscious and possibly drugged during the assault, while the third may have drifted in and out of consciousness.

Bledsoe was arrested after a fourth incident Dec. 14, in which he took a woman to a Costa Mesa nightclub, then brought her back to his home and raped her. The woman reported the incident to police, and Bledsoe attempted to flee over the Mexican border, only to be arrested by San Diego police.

Huntington Beach police discovered videos of the second and third attacks during their investigation and matched Bledsoe's DNA to evidence from the first attack.


Twitter: @MichaelMillerHB

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