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Man Found Guilty of Kidnapping, Sexual Assault

January 23, 2002|JEAN GUCCIONE | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A 26-year-old man was convicted Tuesday of kidnapping a married couple in Sherman Oaks in 1999 and sexually assaulting the woman.

Brian Lyn Richie faces up to life in prison after a Van Nuys jury found him guilty of kidnapping, robbery and sexual assault.

The monthlong trial ended when the jury of nine women and three men took less than two hours to reach guilty verdicts on all nine felony counts.

Superior Court Judge Debre Katz Weintraub in Los Angeles is scheduled to sentence Richie on March 14.

Richie's accomplice, Joseph Navar Downey, 23, was sentenced to life in prison in May 2000 for two separate kidnappings and rapes.

In this case, Richie and Downey were convicted of carjacking a Covina couple in February 1999. They robbed the couple, then took turns raping the woman while her husband was held at gunpoint.

At trial, Richie's mother and brother testified he was at home when the crimes occurred, his attorney, William J. Hardy, said.

Both victims identified Richie in court, and there was DNA evidence linking him to the sexual assault.

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