Teen convicted of kidnapping and raping two girls in Rancho Penasquitos park

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A 17-year-old boy was convicted Monday of kidnapping
and committing multiple sex acts, including rape, against two girls in a dark
Rancho Penasquitos park last year.

William Steven Rodriguez was found guilty of 10 of 21 charges, including
forcible oral copulation and forcible sodomy, in connection with the Sept. 3,
2011, attack.

Jurors acquitted the teen of rape by a foreign object on Jane Doe 1, and
were unable to reach unanimous verdicts on 10 other counts.

Eight of the counts on which he was convicted carry a sentence of 25
years to life, said Deputy District Attorney Wendy Patrick.

The jury's verdicts, reached about 10 days ago, remained sealed until a
separate jury reached verdicts in the case against co-defendant Leonel
Contreras, also 17. Both defendants were prosecuted as adults.

Contreras was convicted Friday on 21 counts, including conspiracy, rape
and kidnapping.

Contreras faces sentencing Dec. 5. Rodriguez is scheduled to be
sentenced Jan. 15.

Patrick would not say whether her office would retry the unresolved
counts against Rodriguez.

“It is the end of a very stressful year for the victims and their
families,” the prosecutor said outside court. “It's been a long time waiting
for this result.”

Patrick said the victims courageously testified about what happened to
them.

“These were two young girls that were united by family, faith and
ambition who took a walk on a sunny, weekend day to a green park with a white
picket fence with a green lawn — known as a greenbelt — and never thought
that to simply take a walk and look for a place to sit and have some
conversation would end up turning into a 30- to 45-minute brutal rape/sexual
assault series,” Patrick told reporters.

Friend Sarah Moesta said the families of both victims were relieved that
justice was done.

She said the victims are healing.

“They're doing good. They're doing really well,” she said.

In her closing argument, Patrick said the defendants had a plan to
assault the girls and Contreras told Rodriguez that he had a knife.

But Rodriguez's attorney, Dana Feuling, said there was no conspiracy
between the defendants and that her client acted on “impulse.”

She said Rodriguez cooperated after his arrest and admitted what he did.

“(Expletive) happens,” Rodriguez told police. “The body is weak when
it sees flesh.”

Feuling said Rodriguez was not guilty of sodomy, rape by a foreign
object or conspiracy.

“He shouldn't be charged with more than he's actually responsible
for,” the defense attorney said.

Patrick told jurors that the victims, then 15 and 16 years old, were
friends who went to a family party in the 12600 block of Spindletop Road.

“The two defendants took their innocence from them,” the prosecutor said.

The prosecutor said Rodriguez and Contreras were out smoking marijuana
when they spotted the two girls as they took a nighttime walk along a greenbelt
running behind a residential neighborhood.

The boys accosted them, with Contreras holding a knife, and forced them
to a more secluded area, using threats to make them stay quiet, she said.

According to the prosecutor, the defendants subjected them to “a brutal
30- to 40-minute series of sexual assaults that included every imaginable
kind of rape.”

Patrick said graffiti found in the open space resulted in a tip that led
investigators to Rodriguez, who told police what happened. Police then
tracked down Contreras.

Categories: KUSI