A state appeals court panel Friday dismissed an appeal filed on behalf of a man challenging his life prison sentence for the November 1993 rape-murder of a woman whose nude and battered body was discovered near the Harbor (110) Freeway in an unincorporated area near Torrance.

Christopher Goree — who was 17 at the time of Dr. Josephine Tan’s killing — was initially sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole after being found guilty in April 2011 of first-degree murder and the special circumstance allegation of murder during the commission of a rape.

But a three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal reversed his sentence of life without parole in July 2014, citing new case law from the U.S. Supreme Court and the California Supreme Court involving cases with juvenile offenders.

The case was subsequently sent back to Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Lance Ito, who re-imposed the life without parole sentence in January 2017.

In the latest appellate court ruling, a separate panel noted that the judge found Goree to be “a continuing danger to small women and children” and called him a “rarity whose foul deeds and evil character have earned him the maximum sentence.”

The appellate court panel noted that the state legislature subsequently passed a bill that allows anyone sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for an offense before they had turned 18 to be eligible for release on parole during the 25th year of incarceration.

The justices noted that Goree is entitled to “a youth offender parole hearing in the 25th year of his incarceration.”

“Stated otherwise, Goree is serving a 25 years to life sentence which includes a meaningful opportunity for release in the 25th year of his incarceration,” the panel found. “The issue Goree has raised on appeal is therefore moot.”

Tan, 41, was attacked as she crossed a pedestrian foot bridge above the 110 Freeway.

Deputy District Attorney Frances Young told jurors that the woman was struck hard enough to be knocked unconscious and apparently woke up either as her clothes were being taken off or as she was being raped. Tan was strangled with her bra, and she sustained severe facial injuries consistent with a beating, according to the earlier appellate court ruling.

Goree was arrested in 2002 after a DNA profile obtained from sperm recovered from the victim’s body was matched to him, and he was 10 years older by the time of his sentencing, according to the earlier ruling.

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