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Local News

April 2, 2009

Orange County “serial rapist” sentenced to 50 years

ORANGE — A serial rapist in Orange was sentenced Wednesday to 50 years in prison after a jury found him guilty on Tuesday.

James Chisen lll, 28, of Orange was found guilty of raping four women in the 260th District Court with Judge Buddie Hahn presiding. Chisen could have faced up to life in prison on the first degree felony charges. He will have to serve at least half of his sentence before he becomes first eligible for parole.

According to Phillip Smith, Orange County Assistant District Attorney, Chisen has three more cases pending.

Detective Sarah Jefferson-Simon, of the Orange Police Department, said she feels there are many more victims involved.

“I think it is a fair verdict,” Smith said. “The system worked like it should.”

The rapes occurred during about a six-month period between January and July 2008. The women were picked up at various Orange locations in Chisen’s jeep. He then took them to places and held a knife to their throats or threatened them with a gun before forcing them to have sex with him.

Chisen testified although he had a live-in girlfriend, he picked up women, “every night or every other night.”

According to evidence admitted into court, the women were able to give similar descriptions to police of Chisen, his vehicle and the contents of the vehicle. They also described the knife used during the crime.

The same knife was later given to the police by his girlfriend, although Chisen said his knife was actually of a different color.

“It’s all lies,” Chisen said during court testimony.

Chisen admitted on the stand his prior history of assaulting women and said he had assaulted the two mothers of his children. In addition, the mother of his first child had also claimed he had raped her as well.

As the number of rapes grew, the violence escalated. During one incident, as Chisen waved the knife around he cut one of the victims.

Jefferson-Simon said, she felt eventually the violence may have lead to murder.

“I am please with the decision of the jury,” Jefferson-Simon said. “They didn’t take it lightly and gave him the time for the crime.”

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