By Jamie Paige, Westside Current

After an almost eight-month trial, it took a twelve-person jury just fifteen minutes to find that Dylan James Jensen knew what he was doing when he raped a Santa Monica woman in an hours-long ordeal in 2018. 

In December of 2021, the jury found 42-year-old Jensen guilty on seven counts that included rape, sodomy and sexual battery. On Tuesday, the jury determined Jensen was “legally sane” when committing all acts. 

Jensen was homeless and high on methamphetamines when he broke into a 68-year-old woman’s apartment at the border of Venice and Santa Monica and raped her at knifepoint on the early morning of June 4, 2018.

During the sanity phase of the trial, Jensen’s attorney had the burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Jensen met the definition of insane when committing the acts.

Under California’s insanity defense, you are considered legally insane if you either did not understand the nature of your criminal act or did not understand that what you were doing was morally wrong. Drug-related mental conditions cannot be used as a defense.

The defense argued throughout the trial that Jensen had a dual diagnosis of meth induced psychosis and schizoaffective disorder. “He has two diagnoses, and they both need to be treated.”

They also argued that Jensen didn’t get a continuity of care when he was homeless. “As a result, there were several times he ran out of meds and experienced decompensation,” the defense maintained. They also suggested, “If you are homeless and rely on county care, this happens.”

However, the prosecution said Jensen was high on meth during the rape and may have experienced some delusions–but affirmed, “that is different from psychosis and doesn’t fit the legal definition of insane.”

“He ripped a locked sliding door off the tracks. He took the step and forced himself into a locked apartment. He then got a knife- of which he explained to the detective [interrogating Jensen] after the rape that he did so to control the victim. He went straight to the victim’s room. He didn’t rob her. He woke the victim up and put his hand over her mouth to keep her from screaming,” the prosecution stated when arguing Jensen was legally sane during its closing arguments on Tuesday.

The prosecution also pointed out that Jensen stabbed the victim’s bed to gain compliance. And, when the victim asked him to put the knife down because she would do what he told her–not to die–Jensen did. 

“She told Jensen that she’d rather be raped than murdered–so she asked him to put the knife down. He did. He went along with it –he knew what he was doing.”

The prosecution said that Jensen had specifics of the assault showing, again, that he knew what he was doing and was coherent during the rape.

“He used the knife to scare her and keep her in line. He admitted to stabbing the mattress several times. He had details of the assault. Did you do anal sex. He said yes. I tried to do things that I saw on tv.”

The prosecution also stated that during the interrogation —”Jensen said he decided that he wanted to be with a woman that day. At all costs. ” 

Jensen told the detective that “no one got murdered or hurt. I messed someone up psychologically, and that’s what I’ve done wrong.”

Jensen then went on to tell the detective that he should have tied the victim up so he could have gotten out of town. 

 “He’s ruminating about what he did wrong,” the prosecution pointed out. “I should have tied her up. It would have been hard for her to call the cops. These aren’t the action of someone insane. If he were insane, he would have acted differently.” 

“All of his behavior points toward knowledge of what he did was wrong.” 

Sentencing will take place on Friday, April 8.