Suspect in Sex Assaults on 2 Women in Venice Faces Multiple Felony Counts

Suspect in Sex Assaults on 2 Women in Venice Faces Multiple Felony Counts

The canals of Venice, Calif., on Feb. 18, 2022. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

City News Service

City News Service

4/15/2024

Updated: 4/15/2024

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A 29-year-old man who allegedly attacked and sexually assaulted two women near the Venice Canals was charged April 15 with multiple felonies.
Anthony Francisco Jones was charged with two counts of forcible rape and one count each of sexual penetration by use of force, mayhem, torture, attempted murder and sodomy by use of force.
The charges include allegations that the crimes were committed in the course of a kidnapping, targeted multiple victims and inflicted great bodily injury. He could face life in prison if convicted as charged, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Jones—who pleaded not guilty—was ordered to be held without bail pending his next court appearance May 15. A date will then be set for a hearing to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to try him.
At a news conference Monday announcing the charges, District Attorney George Gascón called the attacks the “most heinous sexual assaults” he has ever seen.
“Such despicable acts have no place in our society and will not be tolerated,” the district attorney said in a statement.
Jones was arrested Thursday night in San Diego, where he had allegedly fled following the attacks, which occurred the night of April 6, police said.
It was unclear what led police to identify Jones as the suspect.
According to the Los Angeles Police Department, the first attack occurred about 10:30 p.m. April 6 in the 2700 block of Strongs Drive, where a woman was approached from behind and struck with a blunt object, leaving the woman unconscious. The suspect similarly attacked another woman about an hour later as she was walking near the Sherman Canal.
Police said both victims suffered significant injuries, although their current conditions were unknown.
A GoFundMe page established on behalf of one of the victims -- a 54-year-old woman -- says she suffered eight fractures to her jaw, a large laceration on the back of her head, multiple contusions on her face and neck and several lost teeth.
“She will require many surgeries and is currently getting her jaw wired shut for at least a month,” the page states.
Councilwoman Traci Park said city policies have made Los Angeles unsafe. Above, Park  on Jan. 30, 2022. (Traci Park)

Councilwoman Traci Park said city policies have made Los Angeles unsafe. Above, Park  on Jan. 30, 2022. (Traci Park)

The page also states that the woman had recently lost her health insurance and was in the process of obtaining a new policy through Covered California, but had not completed the process.
City Councilwoman Traci Park, speaking at a news conference last week announcing Jones’ arrest, lashed out at the problem of public safety in the city, blaming “catch-and-release” and “criminals-are-the-victims” policies for making the city unsafe.
“People in the city of Los Angeles are sick and tired of feeling unsafe,” she said. “No woman, no visitor, no family should be unsafe walking in any neighborhood in the city of Los Angeles, much less our city’s No. 1 tourist destination,” she said. “Our businesses are being pushed to the brink and consumers are paying for it.”
She said there are “unstable and potentially dangerous” people roaming the streets, and said Los Angeles “is getting a bad reputation.”
“This time it was two innocent women minding their own business just walking through the canals,” Park said. “It could have been any one of us—your neighbor, your colleague, your friend, your sister, your wife. It is time that we get serious about public safety in Los Angeles.”
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