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Appeals Court Orders Reduced Sentence for Convicted Rapist


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By Jorge Casuso

February 2, 2024 -- A state appeals court panel on Wednesday ordered a reduced sentence for a homeless man convicted of raping a Santa Monica woman in her Ocean Park apartment in June 2018.

Dylan James Jensen, 46, was sentenced to 100 years to life in state prison after a jury in December 2021 found him guilty on seven counts, including rape, sexual battery, sodomy, burglary and assault with a deadly weapon in the early morning attack.

The three-judge panel upheld Jensen's conviction but ordered a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge to reduce his sentence, according to the 25-page unpublished opinion.

Santa Monica police said Jensen entered the victim's apartment in the 2900 block of 4th Street through an unlocked sliding door of an elevated patio shortly before 6 a.m.

He took a knife from the kitchen and entered the victim’s bedroom while she was sleeping in her bed. He then forced himself on the victim and sexually assaulted her, then fled, police said.

According to the appellate court panel's ruling, the attack lasted about 45 minutes.

The victim, who was in her late 60s called 911, and responding officers found Jensen near Third Street and Ashland Avenue, according to police.

The victim identified Jensen as her attacker, and he was arrested, police said. He was held on $1.59 million in bail.

At trial, Jensen did not dispute that he sexually assaulted the victim, but instead pleaded insanity, "arguing that his abuse of methamphetamine and alcohol had exacerbated his preexisting mental health conditions," according to the ruling.

The jury rejected Jensen’s insanity defense and convicted him on all counts charged.

In Wednesday's ruling, the appeals court agreed, writing that "we are not persuaded by Jensen’s arguments challenging his convictions."

The court however, agreed with Jensen's defense that "the trial court must reduce his sentences for forcible sodomy and forcible oral copulation from 25 years to life to 15 years to life in prison.

The lower court also must impose concurrent sentences on four of the counts or "clarify the legal and factual basis for its discretionary determination to impose consecutive sentences on those counts."

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