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Early-Release Felon Charged with Kidnapping, Rape, Torture

Early-Release Felon Charged with Kidnapping, Rape, Torture

Photo Credit: California Department of Corrections

A man on probation as a “non-violent offender” under California’s prison realignment program has been charged with kidnapping, raping, and torturing a 16-year-old girl in South Los Angeles, and detectives suspect he may be connected to three other recent murders.

Robert L. Ranson, 30, was arrested in late March after the girl escaped from a U-Haul van in an alley near Imperial Highway and New Hampshire Ave., according to police and booking records.

The girl was covered in gasoline and said her attacker, later identified as Ranson, had tied her hands and taped her mouth, and was trying to light her on fire when she ran away, naked.

Ranson was tracked by detectives and arrested March 27th. He was booked on a 10-day probation violation, known as a “flash incarceration,” while the case was investigated.

Prosecutors charged Ranson for the teenager’s kidnapping April 3. An alleged accomplice, Julian Tobar, was charged with robbing the girl.

Now, LAPD detectives are looking for evidence that could link Ranson to the murders of two women and a child.

On March 2nd the body of a 19-year-old woman was found near 93rd St. and Grand Ave. She had been tied-up and set on fire.

On March 5th, 28-year-old Grisella Yauli and her 1-year-old son were found dead after a house fire on E. 50th St. Yauli had been tied up and her mouth was taped shut.

The LAPD’s Robbery Homicide Division requested KFI NEWS withhold information about the investigation in early April while detectives were searching for other witnesses. News of the arrest was made public Thursday.

According to state prison officials Ranson was released from prison in Susanville in June, 2013 and returned to Los Angeles for supervision by probation officials.

He was considered a non-violent offender because his most recent prison term was for possession of a firearm by a felon.

Ranson had previously served time for two carjackings and an assault with a firearm, prison officials said.

-- Eric Leonard (@LeonardFiles)

 

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