A state appeals court panel has upheld a man's conviction for kidnapping two young women who had accepted a ride from him in Pasadena, including one who jumped out of his truck while he was driving.
The three-justice panel from California's 2nd District Court of Appeal rejected Anthony Seth McDaniel's contention that there was insufficient evidence to support his conviction for kidnapping the 18-year-old woman, who suffered a broken shin bone in two places that required surgery after she jumped from the vehicle as he turned onto a Foothill (210) Freeway onramp in April 2016.
"This provided strong circumstantial evidence that she did not consent to the movement. Indeed, we can think of few ways a kidnapping victim could express her lack of consent more clearly," the justices said in their ruling released Thursday.
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The panel ruled that "it is clear from the circumstances McDaniel was conveying to the victims that they had made a mistake and were now in danger," noting that McDaniel demanded oral sex and touched her breast before she opened the passenger door and jumped from the vehicle.
The Compton resident then locked the vehicle's doors, took the cell phone from the second victim -- also 18 -- as she tried to call 911 and demanded oral sex from her, according to the appellate court panel's 18-page ruling.
The young woman resisted her attempt to force her to perform the sex act, "punched her in the face and pushed her out of the truck in the middle of the freeway" following a collision on the southbound Harbor (110) Freeway, according to the ruling.
The justices also rejected the defense's contention that jurors should not have heard the testimony of a woman involving an attack for which McDaniel was found guilty of assault to commit rape eight years earlier.
McDaniel was sentenced last year to life in prison after being convicted of two counts of kidnapping with intent to commit oral copulation involving the two young women. He is not expected to be eligible for parole until 2047.