Santa Paulan pleads
innocent kidnapping

February 25, 2000
Santa Paula News
A Santa Paula man accused of a brutal attempted rape and kidnapping of a Ventura school cafeteria worker pleaded innocent Wednesday at his arraignment. Terry Lee Stephenson, 35, had been a Coca-Cola delivery truck driver, who in January allegedly kidnapped the 51-year-old woman from the cafeteria of a Ventura middle school at about 6 a.m., shortly after she arrived at the campus.The woman told police the man grabbed her in the Balboa Middle School cafeteria and forced her back into her own vehicle before driving away, but not before a co-worker at the school witnessed the kidnapping.The woman was found in her pickup truck in the Ventura Missionary Church parking lot; she had been badly beaten and was left with extensive facial injuries, including a broken jaw and nose.Stephenson was identified by the witness who recognized him as a delivery man who frequently stopped at the school as part of his route. The victim also identified Stephenson as her attacker.After his out of the area arrest, Stephenson was found to have an extensive criminal record including bank robbery and assault, among other convictions.
He has been charged with kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon, carjacking and assault with intent to rape.Due his criminal history, Stephenson, if convicted on the charges, could face a “third strike” sentence, life in prison without possibility of parole.

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