Jury finds Victor Peña guilty of all kidnapping and rape charges


Crime

The Charlestown man was charged with abducting and raping a woman for three days in 2019.

Defendant Victor Peña is sworn in before closing arguments in his kidnapping and rape case in Suffolk Superior Court in Boston on Monday. Carlin Stiehl for the Boston Globe

Victor Peña, the Charlestown man accused of abducting and raping a woman in 2019, was found guilty of all charges by a jury on Tuesday in Suffolk Superior Court.

The jury, which took two hours to deliberate, found Peña guilty of kidnapping and the 10 counts of aggravated rape he faced.

Prosecutors said Peña abducted the woman, who is now 27, after she left a Boston bar in January 2019, holding her in her Charlestown apartment. They said he repeatedly raped her in the three days before police broke down the door and rescued her.

Peña, 42, had pleaded not guilty to the charge of kidnapping and 10 counts of aggravated rape. He has been held without bond since his arrest in 2019. A judge found Peña to be dangerous during a hearing in April 2019.

He voluntarily watched most of his trial from a separate room via an audiovisual feed and a Spanish interpreter; he previously disrupted jury selection when he appeared naked on a courtroom screen and committed a lewd act.

The woman, who was 23 at the time of the alleged abduction, testified during the trial that the last thing she remembered the night of her abduction was feeling drunk while dancing in a downtown bar with her sister and her friends. The next thing she remembered was waking up naked the next morning at Peña’s apartment. She told jurors she tried to escape twice while Peña slept, but he woke up and grabbed her before she could reach the door, which she later found out had a deadbolt that required a key from inside to unlock.

She testified that Peña threatened to kill her and that she eventually stopped defending herself against his alleged sexual assaults because she “didn’t want to die”.

In his own testimony, Peña said he was trying to help the woman, insisted he was not holding her captive, and that she wanted to “have relations” with him. He also claimed the trial was a corrupt “persecution”.

Throughout the trial, Peña’s lawyer, Lorenzo Perez, attempted to show that his client was not “criminally responsible by reason of illness or mental defect”.

Peña’s older brother, Jose Peña, previously told the media that his brother was mentally ill when he was 7 years old when he suffered from a medical condition that temporarily blocked oxygen from reaching his brain.

A forensic psychologist who assessed Peña’s mental health last month, however, told jurors that although the 42-year-old said he heard voices in different languages, he does not have a mental illness that would affect him. would divorce reality.



Boston

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