LOS ANGELES – A state appellate court panel Tuesday upheld a Lancaster man’s conviction for sexually assaulting three women in Los Angeles and two women in Lancaster.
The three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal rejected the defense’s contention that there were numerous errors in James Smith‘s trial.
Smith, now 39, was convicted in October 2016 of three counts of forcible rape, two counts of forcible oral copulation and one count each of sexual penetration by a foreign object, sodomy by use of force, attempted sodomy by use of force and kidnapping.
The charges stemmed from attacks on a 21-year-old woman in Los Angeles on Dec. 24, 2009; a 43-year-old woman in Los Angeles on Sept. 24, 2011; a 33-year-old woman in Los Angeles on March 22, 2012; a 28-year-old woman in Lancaster on Dec. 6, 2013; and a 19-year-old college student in Lancaster on June 16, 2014.
Smith was arrested in Lancaster after the final attack, in which he pulled the 19-year-old woman into his car near Antelope Valley College, drove her to a vacant house nearby in Lancaster and sexually assaulted her, according to Deputy District Attorney Lowrie Mendoza.
DNA evidence linked Smith to each of the attacks, the prosecutor said.
He is serving a 150-year-to-life term in state prison.
Previous related stories: