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Suspect in Santa Monica Serial Rapes Has Long Criminal Record
By Jorge Casuso
July 26, 2019 -- Fernando Venancio Jr., who pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges that he raped two women in Santa Monica and attempted to rape a third, has an extensive criminal record, according to court documents.
Since 2011, Venancio has had 17 court hearings and been convicted in 13 of the cases, including two parole revocations, the documents show. Four of the cases were dismissed.
He is being held without bail after Santa Monica police arrested him on Monday for an attempted rape on the 800 block of 18th Street ("Santa Monica Police Arrest Suspected Serial Rapist," July 25, 2019).
Venancio's convictions include aggravated assault, burglary, auto theft, possession of ammunition by a felon and possession of marijuana for sale, court records show.
Venancio's first conviction was on June 14, 2011 for possession for sale of marijuana, according to court records. He was sentenced to 36 months probation and 45 days in Los Angeles County Jail.
Since then, Venancio has been in and out of court, repeatedly sentenced to jail time and on probation, according to court records.
On June 10, 2014 he was convicted of auto theft and sentenced to one year in County jail and five years probation.
On September 20, 2016, he was convicted of burglary and swiftly sentenced to 16 months in County jail.
On February 13, 2018, Venancio was convicted of possession of ammunition by a felon. He was sentenced to three years probation and 180 days in County jail.
Before completing his jail sentence, Vanancio was back on the street.
Two months after being sentenced, he was convicted on April 17, 2018 of assault with a deadly weapon and served 36 days in County Jail.
Until November 27, 2017, all of Venancio's hearings were held in the Downey or Downtown Los Angeles courthouses.
Since then, they have taken place in the Airport Courthouse, where crimes committed on the Westside are tried.
It is an indication that Venancio, who is identified by police as a Lynwood resident, has committed his recent crimes in or around Santa Monica.
As with most of the suspects recently charged with Santa Monica's most violent crimes, Venancio is a repeat offender ("Suspects in Santa Monica's Most Violent Crimes Were Repeat Offenders," March 13, 2018).
Santa Monica Police have pointed to Proposition 47, which was approved by California voters in 2014, as having put some of those would commit violent crimes -- including murder, attempted murder and attempted rape -- back on the streets.
Santa Monica voters approved the measure with nearly 80 percent of the vote -- 20,326 to 5,506 -- compared to 60 percent of voters across the state.
Under the law “non-serious, nonviolent crimes" are classified as misdemeanors instead of felonies unless the defendant has prior convictions for murder, rape, certain sex offenses or certain gun crimes.
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