Teen guilty of raping 2 girls in park
Friday a jury found Leonel Contreras, 17, guilty on all 21-counts against him, including kidnapping, forcible rape and sodomy by use of force.
Contreras was convicted in the brutal attack against two girls at knife-point last year in Rancho Penasquitos Park. The victims were then 15 and 16 years old.
Wendy Patrick, Deputy District Attorney, said the verdict is a huge relief for the victims and their families.
“They were happy to finally have some closure on what’s been a very difficult year for the girls and for their families,” said Patrick. “With the courage of both victims and the support of their families and the incredible work of the San Diego County Police Department we were able to achieve the justice that we were seeking.”
Contreras allegedly committed the crimes alongside William Rodriguez, 17. Rodriguez also stood trial on 21 counts in October. A separate jury reached a verdict in that case, but it was being withheld until the Contreras trial wrapped up. The Rodriquez verdict will be read Monday morning.
Contreras could be sentenced to hundreds of years in prison for the crimes. His sentencing is scheduled for December 5. Rodriquez could face the same punishment if convicted.
Both teens were tried as adults.
“Cases like this are emotional for everyone involved,” said Patrick. “Emotional for the victims, the families, often for jurors that have to undertake the difficult task of deliberating on so many counts and so many serious counts. This was a case that was difficult for everyone and the victims and their families are very pleased and very relieved to have this come to an end.”