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A 42-year-old Long Beach man charged with posing as a police officer when he raped two prostitutes and attempted to attack another has taken his own life, Santa Ana police said Thursday.


Long Beach police on July 1 found Stanton’s body in his apartment in the 1200 block of 3rd Street, and it appears he killed himself, Bertagna said. Stanton left behind suicide notes and told others he was thinking of taking his own life, Bertagna said.

Joseph Raymond Stanton was arrested June 29 and one of the victims identified him in a photo lineup, Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said.

Stanton, however, made $1 million bail and was freed from jail June 30, Bertagna said.

One of the attacks was in August of last year, and two others happened in January, Bertagna said.

Stanton posed as a police officer to lure the victims into his car, Bertagna said. From there, Stanton would drive to secluded places where he raped two of the victims and a third escaped before he could sexually assault her, Bertagna said.

In June, Santa Ana police released a composite sketch of a suspect to generate leads in the case, Bertagna said. The publicity generated multiple phone calls from the public that led police to Stanton, Bertagna said.

This week, police received confirmation that Stanton’s DNA matched evidence from the two rape kits, Bertagna said.

Investigators were checking law enforcement databases to see if Stanton was involved in any other sexual assaults, Bertagna said.

“They believe there are potentially other victims out there who did not report” their attacks to police, Bertagna said.

–City News Service

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