Arizona man indicted on 20 counts of sexual assault, 10 other felonies
Sep 3, 2023, 11:30 AM
(Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)
PHOENIX – An alleged serial rapist from Mesa is facing 30 felonies, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office announced Friday.
James Estep, 32, is suspected of sexually assaulting six victims, police said.
His most recent crime occurred on Aug. 22, when he kidnapped and raped a 15-year-old girl, according to the Tempe Police Department.
Court documents claim he found the teen at the light rail station near Alma School Road and Main Street in Mesa.
He convinced her to accept a ride before assaulting her, court documents said. Tempe police arrested him on Aug. 23.
The August arrest wasn’t the first time Estep caught the attention of authorities, though. Police first arrested him on suspicion of rape in May 2021, ABC 15 reported. Prior to raping the teen girl in August, police had also arrested Estep two other times this year.
Why did it take so long for the alleged serial rapist to face punishment?
Despite his multiple arrests, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office had previously dropped the charges, citing a need for further investigation from Mesa police.
The office finally completed their indictment this week.
“From the beginning, this case has been an extremely high priority for me,” Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell said in a statement.
“I look forward to holding this defendant accountable based on evidence gathered in the ongoing investigations conducted by Mesa and Tempe Police Departments,” she said.