RIVERSIDE – An ex-con who robbed and attempted to sexually assault women whose vehicles he intentionally bumped as a ruse to get them to pull over on dark, deserted streets was sentenced today to 50 years to life in prison.
Rasaan Raymon Patton, 32, pleaded guilty in November to 16 felony charges, including kidnapping to commit rape, robbery and assault with intent to commit rape. The Riverside County District Attorney’s Office did not offer any concessions in exchange for the plea, which Superior Court Judge Bernard Schwartz certified today.
Patton is already serving a 14-year sentence for kidnapping to commit rape and forced digital penetration in connection with an attack on a female motorist in Huntington Beach four years ago. With today’s sentence, he’s effectively serving a 64 years to life term.
According to Deputy District Attorney Michael Romney, Patton assaulted six women between 2007 and 2009, five in the Riverside metropolitan area and one in the city of San Bernardino. The latter case was prosecuted in Riverside County.
Romney said the defendant would cruise dimly lit streets where traffic was light, looking for young women and girls. Using either a Jeep Cherokee or Nissan Altima, Patton would typically bump the rear fenders of victims’ cars to get them to pull over on the pretext of inspecting damage and exchanging insurance.
”When they got out of their cars, he would grab them, throw them to the ground, try to grope them and take their money and possessions,” Romney told City News Service. ”One woman ran from him, and he grabbed her from behind in a bear hug and tried to drag her off the road, but he got spooked when somebody drove by.”
According to Romney, one victim did not get out of her vehicle, and the defendant reached in through an open window and pulled her out, banging her head into the pavement.
Patton never completed a sexual assault, Romney said, because all of the victims resisted, and the 5-foot-11, 200-pound assailant would flee at the sight of an oncoming car.
”He was pulling one woman’s clothes off as she was running away,” the prosecutor said. ”He spotted her cell phone in her hand and took off, apparently believing she had already dialed 911.”
None of the victims, whose ages ranged from 17 to 27, suffered serious physical injuries.
”But the emotional trauma is still there,” Romney said. ”Even years after the fact, one victim said the fear is still very real.”
According to Romney, Patton left a palm print on one vehicle that investigators used to identify him. He was tied to the other cases through witness identification.
Patton has a prior conviction for rape of an intoxicated victim and was a registered sex offender living in Riverside during the crimes.
”If there’s a lesson here it’s that it’s all right to be suspicious and listen to your inner voice,” Romney said. ”If something doesn’t seem right about a fender-bender or another encounter with a motorist, don’t get out of your car. Make contact with the police. Call them, drive to the nearest station. Several victims in this case said they were suspicious, but chose to get out of their vehicles anyway.”