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Joe Son and Mike Whitehead Rape Trials Both Start This Week

(But they both look like such gentlemen.)

This isn’t a good week to be a former UFC fighter charged with rape.

By Friday the trials of Joe Son and Mike Whitehead will both be underway.

Son, 39, who fought at UFC 4 and PRIDE The Best Volume 1 and 2 and who also played Random Task in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery stands charged in Orange County, California with the horrific kidnapping and rape of a then-20 year old woman on Christmas eve 1990. During the attack, which took place at gunpoint, Son is alleged to have sexually assaulted the woman with the barrel of a loaded handgun before brutally and repeatedly raping her. Court documents show that Son and his accomplice, who was identified in 2009 as Santiago Gaitan, pushed the half-naked, beaten and battered victim out of the car she had been tortured in for several hours, telling her that her release was “their Christmas present to her.”

Police matched DNA taken from Son in 2008 on their criminal registry after he was arrested for an unrelated parole violation charge for vandalism to samples taken during a rape examination of the victim in the 1990 assault.

He was originally charged with five counts of rape, two felony counts of forcible sodomy, two felony counts of sodomy in concert by force, seven felony counts of forcible oral copulation, and one felony count of sexual penetration by foreign object by force, but due to a successful statute of limitations appeal launched by his lawyer, those charges were dropped and he will instead be facing charges of conspiracy to commit murder and torture. Jury selection in the case began Tuesday and the trial is expected to end next week. Both charges carry a maximum life sentence, however Son’s co-accused, Gaitan, received only 17 years, four months for his part in the attack following a trial in January.

The conspiracy to commit murder charge will be a tough one to prove as it’s likely that the prosecutor will be reliant upon testimony or sworn statements from the co-accused that he and Son had agreed to kill the victim. It’s likely that Son’s defense will argue that they never agreed to murder her and that by letting her go, they proved that was never their intent.

The preliminary hearing for Mike Whitehead’s sex assault trial will begin Friday morning.

Whitehead is accused of two charges of sexual assault and one charge of gross indecency stemming from an April 2009 incident in which “Iron Mike” allegedly sexually assaulted a woman in his home in the southwest Las Vegas Valley following a barbecue he had at the house.

While executing a search warrant on Whitehead’s home, police discovered a marijuana grow-op, but have surprisingly opted not to lay charges apart from the sexual assault and gross indecency ones.

The woman who filed two of three charges against him told police that she and a friend had gone to Whitehead’s home for the barbecue and after both of them got tipsy, they accepted the former TUF contestant’s invitation to spend the night and his offer to take his bed.

She said she woke up with her pants down and to Whitehead having sex with her in the bed. Although she repeatedly demanded that he stop, she says that he didn’t “for about three minutes,” according to the police report.

While he was having sex with the first victim, the second victim, who says she witnessed the whole incident, alleges that Whitehead also groped her.

After the incident, the victims said Whitehead got up, sat in a chair in the corner of his bedroom and stared at them, Blue Velvet style.

Last year Whitehead’s defense told the judge at a scheduled hearing that the former Xtreme Couture trainer missed, that they had come to a plea agreement with prosecutors and that the case should be resolved in the next few months, however the deal fell through for undisclosed reasons and the preliminary hearing was set for Friday, August 19 at 9:00 am in Clark County court.

In Nevada, sexual assault carries a maximum life sentence and mandatory inclusion in the national sex registry database.

Cagepotato Comments

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MrJM- August 20, 2011 at 8:53 am
XENOPHON : "You're right, there are women who get polarized under such circumstances. Yet, to have two of them frozen with fear at the same time is a tough nut to swallow."

And until someone the size of Whitehead has you pinned under him trying to make you swallow his nut, you're not in a great place to judge them.

-- MrJM
XENOPHON- August 19, 2011 at 5:07 pm
Your right, there are women who get polarized under such circumstances. Yet, to have two of them frozen with fear at the same time is a tough nut to swallow.
I don't know all the facts, but I do know Vegas is a wild place, and the women there are use to fast lane. They are also often street wise and there is a good chance Whitehead is getting shook down to settle for some fast cash.
We see there was already a settlement in the works, and one side reneged. Possibly the defense would rather have a jury hear the case? I will be looking forward to hearing the final verdict, as it's a she said, and her friend said, then he said.
Could it be that when Whitehead sat bewildered in his Blue Velvet Chair, he was simply in shock over the realization that he had just been set up?
Travelinron- August 19, 2011 at 3:55 am
@Xeno - Yeah. Everytime a 250 lb man is on top of a woman her girlfriend, who is also being assaulted, should jump up and start fighting him off. Especially when she knows that the guy is a fighter. It's not like she would be scared shitless or so freaked out she wouldn't know what to do.
Todd M- August 18, 2011 at 10:07 pm
El Guapo, classic
@ Xeno, Yeah I agree theres something not quite right about the Whitehead case
XENOPHON- August 18, 2011 at 3:39 pm
So let's get this straight. Whitehead is told to stop by one of the chicks, and for 3 minutes her friend watches the entire performance (while getting groped)but never senses her friend need her to call the cops or run screaming to get help. Based on what's written here, I call bullshit.
As for poor Joe Son, don't you know that in Orange County, California (The OC) all Asian's simply look the same?
Me likey- August 18, 2011 at 11:52 am
so joe son's co accused was sentenced to 17 yrs. he is eligable for parole in 11 yrs. yea, that sucks.
RwilsonR- August 18, 2011 at 11:44 am
I hat ethe LA Times, but hard to argue with that, El Guapo.
El Guapo- August 18, 2011 at 11:41 am
Monday through Friday, Rexy. Mon-Fri. This report just came out yesterday! Couldn't make this shit up if I tried..
ReX13- August 18, 2011 at 11:22 am
El Guapo = killing it every day
El Guapo- August 18, 2011 at 11:12 am
Summer 2022(2019 if they behave themselves)
El Guapo- August 18, 2011 at 11:11 am
CP Fights 29... Joe San vs Whitehead... "No Means No"
skeletor- August 18, 2011 at 11:09 am
Glad to see you guys aren't wrapping yourselves up in all this UFC on FOX press statement drams. Yup... Just sticking to the big stories here.

By the way Hunt and everyone else DFW hates is there, why not you guys?