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Man Gets 2 Life Terms in Assaults on 2 Couples

May 11, 2000

LOS ANGELES — A 23-year-old man was sentenced to consecutive life terms Wednesday for robbing two couples at gunpoint and sexually assaulting the women.

Joseph Navar Downey was convicted of 10 counts of rape, robbery and kidnapping last month for two separate attacks in 1999 that began on the same block of Ventura Boulevard. The crimes were committed within a 40-day span.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Hoff tacked on 16 years to the two consecutive life terms and two consecutive terms of 25 years to life.

Given the brutal nature of the crimes and the lasting effect they had on their victims, Deputy Dist. Atty. Ed Abele said, the punishment was just.

"For practical purposes, it is highly unlikely and inconceivable he will get out of prison," said Abele, who praised all four victims for their courage in testifying at the trial. " . . . I'm pleased that justice was done."

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