LOS ANGELES – A state appeals court panel Wednesday upheld a convicted murderer’s conviction for sexually assaulting a woman who was found drugged in a trailer park in Agua Dulce, but ordered a new sentencing hearing for him.
A three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal found that the evidence of Arthur Eugene Lindsey’s guilt was “overwhelming.”
A state parole officer discovered Lindsey sexually assaulting the woman — who was passed out — during a surprise parole check at Lindsey’s trailer in June 2013, according to Deputy District Attorney Jon Hatami.
The 29-year-old woman acknowledged that she had consumed alcohol Lindsey gave her after he offered her a ride in his BMW, but said she hadn’t taken amphetamines, opiates and benzodiazpenes that were found in her system, the prosecutor said.
In February 2015, a jury in Lancaster convicted Lindsey, then 75, of nine felony counts, including rape of an unconscious person, oral copulation of an unconscious person, sexual penetration by a foreign object and possession of a firearm by a felon. Jurors acquitted Lindsey of a misdemeanor charge of obstructing or delaying a peace officer.
He was sentenced in April 2015 to more than 102 years to life in state prison.
But the appellate court panel agreed with the defense’s contention that his sentence was erroneous and ordered the case to be sent back for re- sentencing.
The justices noted in their 36-page ruling that the trial judge sentenced Lindsey on two of the counts — rape by use of drugs — as a third-strike offender based on his convictions in Indiana for first-degree murder and first-degree murder in the perpetration of a rape involving the Nov. 14, 1964, killing of Julia K. Zink.
The appellate court panel noted that Lindsey was “convicted only for murder involving a single victim” and that “he could only murder the victim once,” finding that the two convictions must be treated as a single strike, not two strikes.
Lindsey had been released from prison after serving more than three decades behind bars for Zink’s killing.
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