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Man Gets 75 Years To Life For Beating, Raping Prostitutes In Santa Ana

SANTA ANA ( — A 24-year-old man who raped three prostitutes, savagely beating two of them, was sentenced Friday to 75 years to life in prison.

Jose Ricardo Mejia was convicted Aug. 20 of one count of assault with a deadly weapon likely to produce great bodily injury, three counts of forced oral copulation and two counts of rape.

Between November of 2009 and August of 2010, Mejia picked up three prostitutes, twice negotiating sex for $100, prosecutors said.

Mejia pulled a metal rod or wrench on his first victim, beating her to a point that she was bleeding profusely, but ran away when they were interrupted by a passersby. The woman stayed in Mejia's car and waited for police.

A second prostitute was punched repeatedly in the face and chest until she blacked out, and was forced to have sex with Mejia when she came to, according to prosecutors. She did not initially report the rape, but told investigators about it when she was arrested a few days later.

Mejia held a third woman at knifepoint to force her to have sex with her, the prosecutor said. He threatened to kill her, but she begged for her life and offered to give him $100 if he would drive her to her car. When they arrived, she ran away screaming and later went to Fountain Valley Regional Hospital, where she reported the rape.

Investigators found Mejia's DNA on one of the women's skirts, and the other two picked him out of lineups.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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