No bond for Mesa man accused of sexually assaulting 5 women, teen girl

A judge said Estep's violence was escalating.
A judge said Estep's violence was escalating.(Pool)
Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 7:31 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — A Mesa man accused of being a serial rapist with six victims will stay in jail until his trial. A judge denied bond on Thursday during a hearing for James Estep. “In light of the nature of the offense, that no condition or additional conditions of release or even combination of them will reasonably assure the safety of the community itself. So all of the factors under the constitution, Article 2, Section 22a3 have been, the defendant will be held non-bondable,” said Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Mark Brain. He also expressed concern that the accusations indicate Estep is acting more frequently and his attacks have become more violent.

Mesa police arrested Estep twice earlier this year in connection to rapes but the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office said the evidence wasn’t strong enough in those cases to prosecute so the recommended charges were sent back to the police. Last month, Tempe police arrested him again after he kidnapped and sexually assaulted a 15-year-old girl, court documents said. This time, prosecutors say they have strong evidence to convict him for all six assaults. Estep was indicted on 20 sexual assault felonies and 10 other felony charges earlier this month. In the indictment, Estep is connected to six victims between September 2018 and August.

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