Articles & Notes — October 18, 2011 at 2:00 pm

“Mighty” Joe Son goes behind bars for the rest of his life

Sometimes, you stumble on some shocking news, and say (or think): “hey, I knew (saw) this guy…how did this ever happen to him…?”

This news is not so fresh, but still, I’ve decided to make a post on it.

This is the case with Joseph Hyungmin Son (aka Joe Son), a martial artist, an actor, and a former UFC fighter, who got sentenced to life in prison without parole.

On August 25th, he was found guilty of a felony count of torture after he was linked to a 1990 gang rape of a then 19-year-old woman in California via DNA evidence.

Most sources credit Joe as “former UFC fighter” and “Austin Powers actor”. I, personally, remember him from 2 movies he did with Bolo Yeung back in the 90s – “ShootFighter 1” and “Shootfighter 2”.

In the first movie, Joe had a cameo role of a fighter, that gets easily beaten by Shingo (Yeung) in the beginning of the movie. In part 2, Son played a completely different character of Lance, Shingo’s brother, the main baddie.

According to IMDB, Son is also the inventor of the “Joe Son Do” martial arts style. I have no idea what that style is about, but hopefully it can somehow help Joe inside the prison.

The story has it, that in 1990, some 19 year old girl was walking down the street with her dog. She was abducted by Son and Santiago Lopez Gaitan. The two drove the woman to Huntington Beach where she was raped and sodomized at gunpoint, even pistol whipped and was told repeatedly that she was going to die.

Eventually Son and Gaitan let her go, naked, and severely injured. They blindfolded her with her own slacks and somehow she made it to a nearby home where authorities were called. The police did gather evidence from the victim, but sadly, nothing came of the case.

Fast forward to 2008, when Son was arrested for vandalism and violated his probation. He now had to submit a DNA sample. That was all it took to link him to the evidence obtained from the victim in 1990.

Now he will serve life in prison without parole. Gaitan will serve 17 years and four months in prison after he plead guilty to “rape, kidnapping, sodomy, forcible oral copulation and forcible rape with a sentencing enhancement for committing rape while armed with a firearm”.

I am not in any position to judge anyone, but… Joe, it wasn’t worth it, was it? When you were an actor, no one really cared, most didn’t even know who you are. Not many knew you were also a UFC fighter. And now, you’re known for gangrape. Let’s hope “Mighty” Joe will learn something behind bars.



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