Accused rapist's criminal record dates to 1993

Lionel Blanks Jr. convicted of selling cocaine in the early 1990s and for domestic violence in 2001

Lionel Blanks Jr., the man accused of rape and attempted murder in the carjacking of a woman in Palo Alto on May 27, had a prior criminal record dating to 1993 that includes a 2001 domestic violence incident, according to San Mateo and Santa Clara county records.

Blanks was arrested for possession of cocaine for sale in East Palo Alto in 1993 on two occasions, Steve Wagstaffe, San Mateo County chief deputy district attorney said Thursday. He was sentenced to two years and four years concurrent terms in state prison for the offenses and served two years, Wagstaffe said.

Blanks was the defendant in a paternity suit in San Mateo County in 1999, according to court records. He was also arrested for domestic violence in Santa Clara County in 2001. The complaint, which was filed by then-wife Keisha Blanks, allegedly involved his 22-month-old son.

Court records in Santa Clara County also showed two DUI arrests.

Blanks graduated from Woodside High School in 1991 and attended Foothill College, according to his Facebook page late last week -- since removed.

Related stories:

Palo Alto kidnap case called 'very violent'

Suspect arrested for Palo Alto kidnap, rape, attempted murder

Police seek suspect in 'violent' kidnap, assault


Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 3, 2010 at 3:22 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

3 time losers do not submit meekly to an arrest that says no more sunshine ever. Obviously Junior knew he had nothing to lose by fighting.

Posted by Linda Allen, a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Jun 3, 2010 at 8:31 pm

Why is this man's eye swollen?

Make no mistake what he is accused of doing horrible, but hey let don't forget his civil rights and become the monster he is.

Posted by Cynthia, a resident of another community
on Jun 3, 2010 at 9:11 pm

I agree with both of you. I find it hard to sympathize with a rapist. People that look like him usually get sentenced before the trial even begins, especially if there is a picture submitted in advance. But in my opinion rape is the same thing as child molestation, violation by force is disgusting and it has to take a sick person to even entertain such a thought. He got off easy, of course his victim was caucaisian, thus the media attention and the black-eye. He deserved it and more, I pray he learns his lesson where he's going!

Posted by tired of the BS, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 3, 2010 at 9:17 pm


No where have I read that the victim is caucasian, where did you hear this information.

Posted by ED, a resident of Professorville
on Jun 3, 2010 at 10:32 pm

Victim is not white.

Posted by Anonymous, a resident of another community
on Jun 3, 2010 at 11:45 pm

I just read this article and I have to say, it would not bother me that he police may have "assaulted" him during the arrest. What bothers me is that in this country you are innocent until proven guilty. What if there is a small chance that he is innocent? It is probably highly, highly unlikely. However, I think this is the point his family was trying to get across when speaking out against how he was arrested. They probably think he is innocent and was attacked too soon.

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Jun 4, 2010 at 3:10 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Innocent or guilty, submit peacefully to arrest. You will get your day in court and an opportunity to plead your case.

Posted by Missy, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 4, 2010 at 7:17 am

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.] Lionel Blanks isn't a monster I grew up with him.How do we know he wasn't set up.Lord knows there is crooked cops all over the place.

Posted by Anon, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jun 4, 2010 at 9:03 am


Really???? Do you really think that? I didn't know tpars lived in EPA as well..

Posted by annoyed, a resident of another community
on Jun 4, 2010 at 9:35 am

Anon....I guess now we have TEPARS as well as TPARS. Well said Walter.

Posted by Anon, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jun 4, 2010 at 1:15 pm

Annoyed, you couldn't have said that any better. It's like a relief pitcher closing out the game...

Posted by Nora Charles, a resident of Stanford
on Jun 4, 2010 at 5:54 pm

Clearly this violent criminal was injured while resisting arrest. My sympathy is with his victim.

Posted by DNA, a resident of Stanford
on Jun 4, 2010 at 6:13 pm

I read that the cops got a hit on his dna, probably from his semen, in their database. Hopefully that's not their only evidence.

Posted by lalaland, a resident of South of Midtown
on Jun 4, 2010 at 10:13 pm

Soooo if his DNA was found in semen like you believe, you want more evidence? Really? You can't be serious to say something that silly

Posted by humm, a resident of Meadow Park
on Jun 5, 2010 at 2:26 am

i still wonder how his was on the DNA database

Posted by DNA, a resident of Stanford
on Jun 5, 2010 at 10:22 am

If you were familiar w/ how the justice system plays out you would know cases that rely solely on dna evidence are much harder to prove in court. The reason why is because dna testing is not 100 percent accurate. It's close, but not 100 percent.

His dna sample is in their database because he's had prior convictions and other contact w/ the police in the past and at some point he submitted his dna to them. It could have been obtained by a local police department or by the department of corrections.

Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 6, 2010 at 10:46 am

Question: Is his eye swollen due to a scuffle w/the cops, or during the attack on the woman? In other words, is it evidence of her self-defense, his resisting arrest or possible his self-defense against any out of line behavior that the cops committed? Personally, I don't think it was the latter.

Having lived in this community for many years, I see a pattern w/the family and loved ones of the accused - they always blame the cops, the system, and often, the victim. There is plenty of corruption still in law enforcement, and of course historically when blacks are accused. Nowadays, however, w/DNA evidence, fingerprinting, sexual offender registries, and other evidence gathering techniques, it's often easier to prove a case.

Missy may not believe that Blanks is a monster. Indeed, of course he has a more loving, sociable side. But people are complicated and often learn the keep their monstrous sides somewhat quiet for long periods of time. But it's when they erupt that so much damage can be done, including to their loved ones, who're left in disbelief.

Posted by dnt worry bout it, a resident of Downtown North
on Jun 6, 2010 at 2:48 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by raym, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 10, 2010 at 7:16 pm


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