Ex-marine gets life for abduction, rape
A former U.S. Marine was convicted Friday of abducting and raping a University of Maryland graduate student who he then left for dead in a secluded, wooded area on a cold February morning.
Jorge Torrez, 21, also was found guilty of the attack on the woman's friend, and of trying to kidnap another woman at gunpoint a few weeks earlier, prosecutors said. The Arlington County Circuit Court jury recommended that the judge sentence Torrez to five life sentences plus 168 years in prison.
Arlington County Commonwealth's Attorney Richard E. Trodden said the crime is "one of the worst" he has seen in his time as a prosecutor.
Torrez approached the 23-year-old woman and a friend who were returning to Arlington County after a Saturday night out in February, according to testimony. He forced them inside the friend's home, and bound them using the electrical cords from a vacuum cleaner and an iron.
Torrez eventually forced the 23-year-old woman into his SUV and drove around, stopping to rape and sexually assault her. They ended up in a remote area of Prince William County, where Torrez pulled the woman's scarf around her neck until she blacked out. She awoke face down in the snow, cold, wet and scared.
During a four-day trial, jurors heard evidence including the fact that the rape victim's DNA was found on Torrez's clothes, and her student ID card and earring was found in his SUV. "What was really gratifying was the courage of the young ladies to testify," Trodden said.
Genetic evidence gathered after the Virginia crimes has linked Torrez to the slayings of two girls from his Illinois home town in 2005. Law enforcement sources have said he is the chief suspect in the killings of Laura Hobbs, 8, and her friend Krystal Tobias, 9. Torrez has not been charged in those slayings.
Torrez, a former Marine who was living at Henderson Hall on Fort Myer at the time of the attacks, was discharged in April. He is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 10 in the Virginia cases.
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