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Jury reaches guilty verdict in Stutzman trial

VISTA — Jeremy Ryan Stutzman, 34, was found guilty of rape, sexual battery by restraint, false imprisonment, carjacking, robbery, burglary and special allegation charges such as using a deadly weapon and binding his victims.The guilty verdict was reached April 10, with Superior Court Judge Richard Mills setting Stutzman’s sentencing date for May 10. Stutzman can receive a sentence of more than 300 years in prison.

The attack on two women occurred over Memorial Day weekend in 2011 at an apartment complex where all three parties lived.

Stutzman testified during his own trial that the two women and he had used drugs together on May 30, 2011 and that they playfully took turns tying each other up and the sex acts between them were consensual.

But the jury believed the testimonies of the 19 and 20-year-old female victims, who were best friends spending the holiday together when Stutzman joined them for an afternoon of methamphetamine use and drinking.

He then lured them apart and forced one of them to call the other woman downstairs into his apartment, where he had already stripped naked and bound her friend.

Stutzman used men’s neckties, rope and a bathrobe belt as restraints. He had also cut off the victims’ clothes with a knife, forced them to model lingerie and hogtied.

One woman was finally able to break free and escape, and called police.

The victim told police that Stutzman had kidnapped her friend, and that the two were in her Toyota Corolla. Stutzman had cut off his GPS ankle bracelet in an effort to elude authorities, and he forced the victim to drive him to various places throughout the night until he eventually set her free the next morning.