Sexual assault suspect attempts suicide in jail

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UPDATE as of Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. Accused rapist dies while in custody

VISTA, Calif. -- A San Marcos man arrested on suspicion of beating, choking and raping a North County smoke-shop clerk at her workplace Sunday  was hospitalized Tuesday after trying to kill himself in his jail cell, authorities reported.

A guard found 27-year-old Jason Edward Stay injured at Vista Detention Center Tuesday afternoon, according to sheriff's public affairs. He was admitted to a trauma unit at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla.

Officials declined to disclose the nature and severity of Stay's injuries.

Shortly before 9:30 p.m. Sunday, Stay allegedly attacked a worker at Dab Central Smoke Shop in the 900 block of West San Marcos Boulevard.

The victim’s mother agreed to speak with FOX 5 if her identity was protected. She said she wants to know why this man was ever allowed out of prison in the first place.

“No doubt in my mind that today my daughter would be raped and murdered," said the mother of the young woman who said she was sexually assaulted at work Sunday night. She said she is grateful to the police and 911 systems that she credits with saving her daughter's life, but is furious at the same system that allowed a man with a long violent history to walk free.

“He attacked her from behind and put her in a terrible headlock and started pounding her face.”

According to the victim’s mother, Stey worked across the street from the smoke shop and had been stalking her daughter for some time. She said Sunday night he followed her daughter into the shop’s back room and violently beat and raped her daughter and also beat her daughter's dog, which tried to protect her.

“He would punch the dog and the dog wouldn’t leave her.”

When Stey finally stopped to get up and lock the front door, the woman dialed 911 and then hid the phone, she said.

“When he came back and started hitting her again she screamed and screamed," said her mother. "She wanted that dispatch person to understand there was something terrible going on.”

She said her daughter then tried to use conversation, agreeing to do whatever he wanted so she would survive until the police arrived.

She shares her story in hopes that other women will feel empowered and most importantly, she said, have a plan.

“She’s alive and she’s a survivor,” said her mother. "I’m so proud of her for being so strong and for having the presence of mind in such a terrible situation.”

She believes the situation could have been avoided.

“People don’t start doing something about it until it affects them personally,” she said. "Well, this has affected me personally and I’m interested in finding out what’s going on in the prison system and why are they letting people out and who’s making that call.”

Jason Stey is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday in Vista Superior Court, but may be arraigned from a hospital bed depending on the severity of his condition.


  • J Harris

    These animals need to be shot on sight. This suicide attempt was a fake way of getting out of trouble. Next time maybe this asshole will suceed and kill himself

  • Ann

    Thank God Jason Stay is dead… may he rot in hell forever. And to his family and friends who wrote letters praising him as a model citizen after he was arrested and tried for violent crimes… what kind of people are you??? You are pathetic and you should be ashamed of yourselves. Jason Stay was a monster from the pit of hell and I am glad he is dead and will never again have the opportunity to harm another person.

  • J Harris

    Its always like this the criminals have more rights than the victim. Overcrowded prisons were going to let people out early
    Supreme court judges who always rule in favor of the crimanal.who cares if the jails are over crrowded. Take animals like this guy and kill him. I’m glad he killed himself

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