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'Austin Powers' actor convicted of torture

The actor best known for playing Dr. Evil's shoe-throwing henchman in 1997's "Austin Powers," was convicted of torture in connection with a 1990 Christmas Eve gang rape.
/ Source: E!online

It took two decades, but the law finally came down on Joseph Hyungmin Son.

The actor best known for playing Dr. Evil's shoe-throwing henchman Random Task in 1997's "Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery," was convicted of torture Thursday in Santa Ana, Calif. in connection with a 1990 Christmas Eve gang rape of a woman who was out walking her dog.

Here's what happened.

A Santa Ana jury found the 40-year-old Son guilty of one felony count of torture stemming from his arrest on Oct. 7, 2008 on an outstanding warrant. He faces a maximum sentence of 15 years-to-life in state prison come sentencing Sept. 9.

The rape occurred on Dec. 24, 1990 at approximately 12:30 a.m. when the unidentified victim was walking back to her apartment alone with her dog after going to look at Christmas lights with a relative and friend.

Per the Orange County District Attorney's Office, Son distracted the woman by asking for directions and pretending he was lost. Son and co-defendant, Santiago Gaitan, then dragged her to their car and threw her in the back. After pistol whipping her and telling her they were driving to Compton, the men instead drove to Huntington Beach where they raped her repeatedly, sodomized her and forced her to give them oral sex.

The D.A. also stated that Son also threatened to kill her, penetrated her vagina with a firearm, and counted the bullets in the gun out loud while the victim pleaded for her life.

The men then finally allowed the woman to leave, naked and with her pants tied around her eyes. She managed go to a nearby home where the homeowners called police.

Unfortunately, despite collecting evidence at the crime scene, investigators had few leads and the case went cold.

But they caught a lucky break when Son — who went on to minor fame parodying James Bond nemesis Odd Job in Mike Myers' 1997 spy spoof — got collared and pleaded guilty to felony vandalism on May 16, 2008.

He was subsequently sentenced to 60 days in jail with an additional 90 days after violating his probation. As part of his original plea, he was required to provide a DNA sample—which turned out to match the DNA evidence gathered at the crime scene.

D.A. spokeswoman Farrah Emami tells E! News why the prosecutors went after the torture charge.

"We didn't proceed on the sexual assault charges based on the statute of limitations," she said. "So the sexual assault charges were not taken before a jury so the only count he was found guilty of was torture. But based on that count, he still faces a maximum sentence of 15 years to life so it's still a very significant count to be found guilty of."

Emami added that the judge will determine how much time he does, not a jury; the sentence will be based on the totality of the circumstances, and the victim will have the opportunity to give a statement.

Gaitan pleaded guilty to one felony count each of kidnapping, sodomy by force in concert, rape in concert, forcible oral copulation and forcible rape while armed with a firearm and received in January a punishment of 17 years and four months in prison.

Since Son fought the charges, it's likely he'll get a longer sentence.