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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary

Man Held in Kidnapping and Attempted Rape

August 16, 2000

SANTA PAULA — Authorities have arrested a 21-year-old man on suspicion of kidnapping and attempting to rape a 15-year-old girl.

Deputies said Darwin Fuller drove the girl to several secluded areas along Highway 150 between Upper Ojai and Santa Paula on Monday afternoon and sexually assaulted her.

The girl, whose name was not released, struggled several times to run from her attacker, authorities said. She managed to escape once and tried to hide. Fuller, however, found and verbally threatened her, forcing the girl back into his car, authorities said.

She escaped again a short time later during another attack on Sulphur Mountain Road. Two unidentified women driving by spotted the girl running and drove her to a friend's house, where she called the Sheriff's Department.

Deputies found Fuller driving south on California 150 at about 6:20 p.m. They tried to pull him over, but Fuller sped up, then lost control of his car and crashed, authorities said.

Fuller, who suffered no injuries during the accident, was arrested at the scene. He was booked into the Ventura County main jail on suspicion of kidnapping and attempted rape, authorities said.

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