Felon Denied New Trial in Palm Desert Kidnapping, Calimesa Assault Case

The man was convicted in early 2012 of snatching the victim in Palm Desert and taking her to a friend's trailer in Calimesa, where he assaulted her in 2009.

A judge Friday denied a request for a new trial and indicated he would hand down a stiff sentence for a repeat felon who kidnapped and raped his ex-girlfriend after threatening to break her neck or slash her with a razor blade.

Mark Anthony Mays, who also goes by Clayton Moore, was convicted Jan. 30 of kidnapping, rape by force and other felonies for snatching the victim in Palm Desert and taking her to a friend's trailer in Calimesa, where he assaulted her on Aug. 2, 2009.

At a hearing at the Larson Justice Center, Riverside County Superior Court Judge Richard A. Erwood handed down a tentative sentence of 55 years and four months, plus 50 years to life in prison.

Mays, 52, would serve the 55 years first, then the second sentence, attorneys said.

But Erwood delayed formal sentencing to Dec. 21 so Mays could keep doctors' appointments scheduled for next week. The judge first denied defense attorney Cameron Quinn's motion for a new trial and to reduce the crimes to lesser offenses.

Quinn, who didn't represent Mays during the trial, argued that the woman may have been angry at the defendant because he wouldn't give her drugs. The defense attorney also contended that there were inconsistencies in her testimony, and many instances of her saying she did not remember what happened.

"So on the stand, did (the victim) tell the truth or was the bulk of it a story? Was she kidnapped or going along to get drugs from Mr. Mays?" the attorney said.

He maintained that sexual acts, which no one witnessed or heard, were consensual, and that Mays didn't kidnap the woman.

Deputy District Attorney Scot Clark countered that the woman was "compelling, she was credible, she was courageous. That stands in contrast to Mr. Mays."

He said Mays is a "career criminal who stole the personhood of another human being when he did these offenses on (the victim and) is not deserving of the court's mercy."

Erwood said the woman's story was consistent and corroborated by other testimony. He said she was "particularly vulnerable," and Mays "took advantage of a position of trust because of their relationship."

Mays planned the crimes and induced three other men, who were in the car when the woman was forced into it, to participate, the prosecutor said.

Two months after he broke up with then-25-year-old victim, Mays called her and promised her money, then persuaded her to step outside the gated Palm Desert community where she was staying with her parents and asked if they could get back together, according to the prosecution's sentencing memorandum.

When she refused, he told her to get in a car, driven by a friend, or he would "'snap her neck right here on the sidewalk,"' according to the memorandum.

On the way to Hemet, where another man riding in the car lived, Mays hit the woman, threatened to throw her out of the car and forced her to have oral sex with him, according to the prosecution.

They dropped off the Hemet resident and went to the driver's mobile home in Calimesa. There, Mays told the woman to masturbate in the shower or he would cut her with razor blades. He then raped her, hit her and zip-tied one of her ankles to his, according to the sentencing memo.

"(The woman) was terrified throughout the encounter but resolved to do and say what (Mays) wanted so she could extricate herself from the situation," the document states.

Mays cut the zip ties and had his friend drop the woman at his mother's house in Menifee, where she called a friend, who contacted the woman's parents. A sheriff's deputy arrived and found the woman "desperate to leave the home," according to the document.

During a rape exam, a nurse found a cut on the woman's ear and "saw that her face was red and swollen from blunt-force trauma." A DNA test matched Mays' semen inside the woman, according to the sentencing memo.

Mays testified that the woman made everything up because he wouldn't give her drugs. He said the zip ties were her idea "since she was 'adventurous,"' and denied threatening her, according to the prosecution.

Mays has several felony convictions, including robbery, burglary, weapons violations and drug possession, and one strike.


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