Kidnapping, sexual assault suspect arrested


Santa Clara detectives arrested Lionel Blanks at about 5 p.m. Wednesday on multiple charges including kidnapping, sexual assault, robbery and attempted murder, Palo Alto police said.

Blanks is suspected of forcibly entering a 2001 black Mercedes ML320 in the 1600 block of El Camino Real in Palo Alto sometime after 1:30 a.m. Saturday and brutally attacking the female driver, according to police.

The woman was beaten then taken to Santa Clara, where she was sexually assaulted in the 400 block of Saratoga Avenue, police said.

She was able to call police shortly before 5:30 a.m. that day.

The Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office is reviewing the case today, spokeswoman Amy Cornell said. If charges are filed against Blanks, who is being held in county jail, he will be arraigned on Friday.

The Palo Alto and Santa Clara police departments headed the investigation, which involved processing separate crime scenes.

The Stanford University Department of Public Safety, the Santa Clara County Crime Lab and other entities assisted.

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