Santa Ana Rape Suspect Dies in Apparent Suicide Days After Arrest: Police

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A 42-year-old man who was recently arrested on rape charges was found dead in his apartment earlier this month after apparently committing suicide, the Santa Ana Police Department announced Thursday.

Joseph Raymond Stanton is seen in a booking photo released by the Santa Ana Police Department.
Joseph Raymond Stanton is seen in a booking photo released by the Santa Ana Police Department.

Joseph Raymond Stanton was found dead in an apartment in the 1200 block of Third Street in Long Beach on July 1, two days after his arrest, according to a police news release.

He left a suicide note and had told associates he was contemplating killing himself, the release stated.

There was no evidence of foul play, according to police.

Stanton was arrested June 29 on suspicion of kidnapping, rape and attempted rape; the charges stemmed from sexual assaults in Santa Ana that occurred between August 2015 and January 2016 involving the same man and three self-admitted prostitutes, according to the release.

In each case, he was suspected of luring the victim into his car by posing as a police officer, the release stated.

He then drove to a secluded location where he allegedly forcefully raped two of the female victims, investigators said. The third victim managed to escape.

Stanton was arrested after being identified as a possible suspect in the case last month. He was linked to the two rapes through DNA evidence, according to police.

Stanton was released from jail after posting bail, which had been set at $1 million.

A cause of death was not immediately released.

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