Man pleads no contest to Paso Robles carjacking and rape
Edson Salazar Tapia, 21, of San Ardo pleaded no contest to charges of carjacking a woman in Paso Robles and later raping her. He could receive 25 years to life in prison for the crime. His sentancing hearing is set for Jan. 24 in San Luis Obispo County Superior Court.
The crime began Sunday, June 23, 2013 when a 19-year-old female victim was accosted by two suspects while getting gas at the AM/PM service station on Niblick and South River roads. The victim reported that she had been coerced at gunpoint to drive both suspects to the area of San Ardo in Monterey County. An unnamed suspects left after they arrived there, while Tapia stayed with the victim.
Tapia then sexually assaulted the victim before taking her to San Miguel, police say. The victim was able to escape from the vehicle in San Miguel where she called 9-1-1.
This information was broadcast at about midnight to law enforcement agencies in both San Luis Obispo County and Monterey County. At about 3:10 a.m. on June 24, deputies from the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office located the victim’s vehicle unoccupied and abandoned in San Ardo.
Later on Monday at about 11 a.m., police detectives located both suspects in San Ardo. As a result of their investigation, Tapia was arrested and transported back to the Paso Robles Police Department.
The other subject contacted in San Ardo was released after being interviewed. According to Lieutenant Tim Murphy, the second suspect was not arrested because “The carjacking and kidnapping did not occur until after the suspects had separated.” The weapon used in this crime was recovered and determined to be an imitation firearm.