SLO jury convicts man of robbing and raping prostitutes
March 11, 2016
A 52-year-old Santa Maria man has been convicted of raping and robbing women at gunpoint. His victims were prostitutes.
On March 14, 2013, Gregory Arthur Erwin raped and robbed a woman at the San Luis Inn and Suites in San Luis Obispo. Erwin agreed to meet the victim at her hotel room sometime after midnight. When he arrived, he sexually assaulted her, stole cash from her purse and fled.
While assaulting her, Erwin allegedly pointed a handgun at the woman and threatened to kill her. The victim reported Erwin’s license plate number to police and San Luis Obispo officers arrested him.
Investigators later determined Erwin also raped and robbed a prostitute in Pismo Beach. That incident occurred on March 14, 2013, according to the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office.
On Thursday, a San Luis Obispo jury convicted Erwin, a former felon, of 11 criminal counts. The convictions include two counts of forcible rape with personal use of a firearm and two counts of forcible oral copulation with personal use of a firearm.
Erwin was also convicted of possession of a firearm by a felon. He pleaded guilty to that charge.
The Santa Maria man now faces a prison sentence of at least 100 years. Four of the charges and enhancements of which he was convicted carry mandatory sentences of 25 years to life in prison.
Prosecutors say the crimes likely would have gone unsolved if one of the victims had not bravely followed the defendant while calling 911.
“These verdicts are an important step to bring justice for the two young women who were the victims of Mr. Erwin’s vicious conduct in this case,” San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow said.
Erwin’s sentencing is scheduled for April 7 at San Luis Obispo Superior Court.