Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 3 / 18 January 2018

Pacifica man may face more rape charges

Joseph Paul Courtney (Photo: San Mateo County Sheriff's Department)

Joseph Paul Courtney (Photo: San Mateo County Sheriff’s Department)

A Pacifica man already accused of raping seven men is facing allegations from two additional victims, according to his attorney.

Joseph Paul Courtney, 32, of Pacifica, was arrested July 28 and is being held in Redwood City’s Maguire Correctional Facility on $10 million bail.

In an email Thursday (January 5), Courtney’s attorney, Steven Chase, said, “I am expecting new discovery” from the prosecutor “on some more complainants.”

Asked in a phone interview how many more complainants there are, Chase said, “Two is what I’ve been told, and I don’t know anything about them.” He said he hasn’t received the police reports, and he has “no idea” when the alleged incidents took place.

Chase said, “I would imagine” the latest complainants are men.

“I don’t think Mr. Courtney has any interest in women,” he said.

Courtney’s so far pleaded not guilty to numerous charges including sodomy by use of force, sodomy by anesthesia or use of a controlled substance, sodomy of an unconscious victim, possession of child pornography, and second-degree robbery. He’s also denied allegations that he tied or bound his victims. He could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted.

The criminal complaint against Courtney also includes an allegation that he committed the alleged offenses knowing that he has AIDS.

Chase previously said charges in the case may have stemmed from “consensual sex.”

“It’s not like people were dragged off the street and given drugs that they did not ingest voluntarily to have an enhanced sexual experience,” he said.

In a case summary he provided in the case when there were only three alleged victims, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said, “On three separate occasions involving three separate male victims, [Courtney] met with the victim for consensual sex twice at his residence and once at a Comfort Suites Motel. On each occasion, [the] defendant drugged the victims with GHB (date rape drug) and other drugs, knocking them unconscious.”

Additionally, the DA said, Courtney “and unidentified male associates proceeded to have sex with the unconscious victims and on one occasion showed the victim the video recording of the unconscious sex by multiple men.”

Captain Joseph Spanheimer, a Pacifica police spokesman, said in a news release this summer that, “Investigators found that Courtney often used websites and smartphone ‘apps’ to contact his victims,” and that he’d “also had contact with minor males for the purpose of engaging in sexual intercourse.”

Spanheimer has also said that the incidents started in 2007, and police had been investigating Courtney “for almost a year” before his arrest.

Several of the charges would require Courtney to register as a sex offender if he’s convicted.

His next court date is January 17 to set a date for a preliminary hearing, when a judge will determine if there’s enough evidence to hold him for trial.

Courtney has declined an interview request.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, January 5, 2017 @ 5:24 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

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