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Suspect Held in Attacks on 2 Women

Navy man is accused of sexual assaults in Port Hueneme and Oxnard. Each victim was accosted at gunpoint while with a male companion.

October 31, 2003|Sandra Murillo | Times Staff Writer

A suspect in the brazen, gunpoint rape and kidnapping of an 18-year-old college student at Oxnard's Kiddie Beach last month was arrested shortly after allegedly attacking another woman, police said Thursday.

Lealon Romain Johnson, a 27-year-old Navy enlisted man stationed in Port Hueneme, was being held in lieu of $1.3-million bail at the Ventura County Jail. He is charged with multiple counts that include rape, robbery and kidnapping, officials said.

On Sept. 20, Johnson allegedly came upon a woman and a male companion as the couple sat in the woman's car at Kiddie Beach. Authorities said Johnson forced the woman out of the vehicle at gunpoint and raped her in a public bathroom at the beach. He then forced her to drive another car to Port Hueneme, where she was sexually assaulted again, authorities said.

Meanwhile, the victim's friend drove to the nearby Port Hueneme police station. Ventura County sheriff's deputies and Port Hueneme and Oxnard police officers then went to the beach, which is in Channel Islands Harbor, but found no trace of the woman or her attacker.

The woman escaped from the car in Port Hueneme and ran into a business, authorities said.

Early Saturday, a Port Hueneme officer on patrol noticed a distraught man and woman behind a shopping center in the 2500 block of North Ventura Road in Port Hueneme.

"They had just been robbed at gunpoint and the female had been sexually assaulted," Port Hueneme Police Chief Fernie Estrella said.

The assailant fled on foot, leaving a car behind in the parking lot, authorities said. Police checked motor vehicle records and had a name when Johnson called police at 5:30 that morning to report his vehicle stolen.

Under the pretense of investigating the reported theft, Port Hueneme police went to Johnson's address. The woman, who was in a nearby police car, then identified Johnson as her attacker and he was arrested without incident.

Oxnard Police Chief Art Lopez urged women to contact police if they believe they have been attacked by Johnson.

"There may be more victims out there," Lopez said. His pattern "is so distinctive because he not only takes advantage of the women, but uses a gun to intimidate the woman and man. It's a vicious, vicious crime."

Oxnard police are also looking for a man who sexually assaulted an 11-year-old girl in the bathroom of the Bahia Cabrillo apartment complex on South Harbor Boulevard as she attended a family birthday party on Saturday.

The attacker is described as white, about 35 years old, 5 feet 10 to 6 feet tall, overweight with very short hair, a mustache and a thick goatee. He was wearing a short-sleeve gray T-shirt and blue jeans. Anyone with information is asked to call Oxnard police at 385-7760.

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