LANCASTER-(VVNEWS.com): A 42-year-old man was found guilty on Thursday of two 2015 kidnapping and sexual assaults of two teenage victims. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office said that the two assaults occurred within a one-month period and involved two 15-year-old girls.
Joseph Kenneth Cornett was found guilty of 15 felony counts: two counts each of kidnapping to commit rape, lewd act upon a child and forcible rape of child victim over 14; one count each of assault with intent to commit rape of a victim under 18, assault with intent to commit sodomy by use of force of a victim under 18, sexual penetration by foreign object of minor 14 or older by means of violence, assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury and furnishing marijuana to minor over 14; and four counts of threatening force or violence against an executive officer.
Included in his convictions was also three misdemeanor counts including esisting arrest and one misdemeanor count of possession of PCP. The jury found true allegations that the crimes were committed against multiple victims and that the victims were children 14 or older.
The case stemmed from an April 13, 2015 incident where Cornett gave a 15-year-old girl a ride and prevented her from leaving the vehicle. Evidence in the four-week-long trial indicated that he then drove her to a deserted area on the far east side of Lancaster and sexually assaulted the victim twice.
Prosecutors said that on May 6, 2015 Cornett approached another 15-year-old girl as she walked home from school. The victim told authorities that Cornett said he was a police officer and he was going to arrest her for jaywalking. He then coerced the teen into his vehicle and drove her to abandoned temporary mobile classrooms near Lancaster Boulevard and 40th Street. The girl was forced into one of the classrooms and sexuallly assaulted.
She managed to flee and get assistance from a group of people at a nearby church. Cornett attempted to escape but his vehicle became stuck in the sand. During his arrest he fought off seven officers as they arrested him at times even spitting at them.
Cornett will be sentenced on April 28, 2016, and will face over 80 years in state prison.