News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


Subject :

Suspect Arrested for Kidnap, Sexual Assault, Attempted Murder
Contact : Lt. Sandra Brown, Palo Alto Police Department    650.269.1098
Lionel Blanks
Palo Alto, CA -- Early in the morning of May 22, 2010, a woman was brutally attacked in her vehicle, while in the 1600 block of El Camino Real, in Palo Alto. She was beaten, abducted and taken to the City of Santa Clara, where she was sexually assaulted. After the crime was reported to Santa Clara police, they investigated and then contacted the Palo Alto Police, who located the original crime scene.

Palo Alto police conducted a joint investigation with the Santa Clara police and the Stanford University Department of Public Safety, assisted by other regional law enforcement partners. Investigators have worked around the clock for the past five days to process separate crime scenes and to run down multiple leads. The Santa Clara County Crime Lab provided tremendous assistance to the investigation and the suspect was successfully identified.

Lionel Blanks was arrested yesterday by Santa Clara police detectives at approximately 5 p.m., near his residence. He has been booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail. He is 36 years old and a resident of Santa Clara.

Blanks is being charged with kidnapping, sexual assault, robbery and attempted murder. Final charges will be determined by the Santa Clara County District Attorneys' office after the investigation is complete. Blanks' bail will be set by a magistrate; his arraignment date has not yet been set.

"We are pleased to note that the streets of this county are safer today because of the excellent teamwork by the dedicated officers and employees from this Department, the Santa Clara Police Department, the Stanford Department of Public Safety, the Santa Clara County Crime Lab and the Santa Clara County District Attorney' s Office," said Police Chief Dennis Burns. "We also want to make special mention of cooperation from the news media and the citizens who called in with information about this case."