Man Arrested in Santa Clara Sexual Assault

Police identified Leonard Charles Easton with forensic evidence.

By Aliyah Mohammed
|  Thursday, Jun 28, 2012  |  Updated 11:30 AM PDT
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Man Arrested in Santa Clara Sexual Assault

Intersection of Park Avenue and Poplar Street in Santa Clara.

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Relying heavily on forensic evidence Santa Clara police have arrested a man who allegedly sexually assaulted and robbed a woman in the early hours of May 31.

A woman said she was assaulted while walking by herself at 3:05 a.m. in the area of Park Avenue and Popular Street, police said.

The victim was pulled behind some mechanical boxes away from the street in a more secluded area, Deputy District Attorney who is prosecuting this case, Carolyn Powell said. People who were walking by caught sight of the assault and called the police, Powell added.

The alleged suspect, Leonard Charles Easton, 52, is a previously convicted sexual offender temporarily residing in the Santa Clara-San Jose area.

Easton was identified by the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Crime Lab's scientific testing of semen found on the victim, according to Powell. He was arrested June 21 and arraigned June 25 at Santa Clara County Superior Court.

Easton is being charged with forced penetration with a foreign object, forced oral copulation, robbery and other charges related to his prior convictions, according to Powell. He also has two prior strikes for oral copulation and rape for which he served time in jail.

Easton's defense will be determined June 29 at 2 p.m. in Santa Clara County Superior Court, Powell said.

Leonard Charles Easton and his daughter Tasha Easton plan on challenging the charges.

"My father has been falsely accused of these charges, the description which was initially reported does not match my father," Tasha Easton said. "DNA matches are increasingly coming back with incorrect matches for those especially already in the sytem."

"Since (my father's) release from (jail) three years ago, he has been on the straight and narrow," Tasha Easton said. "We are 100 percent innocent and the supposed DNA evidence is inaccurate and we will not go down without a fight."

Easton could get 190 years to life in prision if convicted on all current and prior charges, Powell said.

"It is a horrific crime that the victim was subjected to and we are going to prosecute it to the furthest extent of the law."

Anyone with information about the case or Easton is asked to call Detective Sergeant Todd Cummins at 408-615-4813.
 

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