BOSTON — The alleged victim in Victor Pena’s kidnapping and rape trial testified Wednesday that Pena threatened to kill her during a horrifying series of events that occurred after she woke up in his Charlestown apartment following a night of drinking in Boston.
Prosecutors say the North Shore native was taken off the streets near Henessey’s on a weekend evening in January 2019 and imprisoned in Pena’s apartment, where she was raped for days.
Pena is on trial at Suffolk County Superior Court, charged with kidnapping and rape.
On the stand, the alleged victim told the court that she had just moved to Jamaica Plain from Scotland just days before the incident. She had been attending college in Edinburgh.
She told the court that she had attended a 90s-themed party in Dorchester on the night of the alleged kidnapping and rape, where she drank wine and did shots. She recalled going to Henessey’s with friends and having fun, adding that her next memory was waking up in Pena’s filth-covered apartment.
The alleged victim testified that she woke up naked on a bed without sheets in Pena’s messy room and attempted to leave but he allegedly stopped her.
In describing the rape, the alleged victim said, “I didn’t want to die, so I let him.” She then described offering to help Pena clean his apartment, stating, “Anything is better than being raped. I was trying to figure out anything I could do, to get him to let me go.”
Alleged victim: “I tried to get up and get out.”
Prosecutor: “What happened when you started to get up?
Alleged victim: “A man’s arm came over and stopped me.”
Prosecutor: “Did you do anything or say anything when he put his arm over you to stop you from getting up?”
Alleged victim: “I tried to say like, oh I have to leave, um, gotta go.”
Prosecutor: “Did he do or say anything when you said that?”
Alleged victim: “He wouldn’t let me leave and after I was like, no I have to leave he threatened to kill me.”
Prosecutor: “How specifically did he threaten you? What do you recall about what he said?
Alleged victim: “I think he just said like you can’t leave. Don’t get up or I will kill you.”
Prosecutor: “Did you do anything physically to try to stop him?
Alleged victim: “No.”
Prosecutor: “Why not?”
Alleged victim: “I just didn’t want to die, and he had threatened a couple of times to kill me.”
The alleged victim also claimed that Pena believed he had rescued her from possibly suffering frostbite and that they were going to start a family together.
She also told the court that she thought about jumping out of a window, but feared seriously injuring or killing herself.
She was later asked about whether or not she thought about fighting back.
Prosecutor: “Were there other things that went through your mind in terms of ways to get out of this situation?”
Alleged victim: “I thought through my options. Could I hit him with something? Hit him over the head?”
Alleged victim: “Could I hit him? Could I find a knife and stab him? But what I was thinking was that I only have one shot, and this was like a small apartment with a man who is larger and probably stronger than I am, so whatever I had to do I had to be 100% confident that it would work, and I wouldn’t be attacked back after.”
The alleged victim then talked about maybe using a large statue featuring the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building to attack Pena with.
Prosecutor: “So, you never actually tried?
Alleged victim: “Correct.”
During her time in the apartment, the alleged victim told the court that Pena made her drink alcohol and that he fed her canned fruit.
Prior to being rescued, Pena became nervous when he heard helicopters and knocking days after the alleged kidnapping, ordering the victim to be quiet and put her clothes on.
Alleged victim: “There was a helicopter, the sound of helicopters which is pretty average for the city, especially Charlestown being pretty close to downtown so I didn’t really think too much of it.”
Prosecutor: “Did you hear additional sounds closer to the apartment?”
Alleged victim: “Yes, there was a knock at the door.”
Prosecutor: “Describe the knock. Whether it was brief, long, soft, loud.”
Alleged victim: “Loud. Probably pretty firm, like a knock, knock.”
Prosecutor: “How many times did that happen?
Alleged victim: “A couple of times.”
Prosecutor: “Did you hear anybody saying in conjunction with the knocks?”
Alleged victim: “I believe so.
Prosecutor: “Do you recall anyone ever saying the word ‘police’?”
Alleged victim: “I don’t believe so.”
Prosecutor: “Did this man have any reaction to the helicopters and the knocks on the door?”
Alleged victim: “Yeah, he became a little nervous around the time that he heard the helicopters, and then once the knocking began, he definitely got anxious and continually told me to be quiet.”
Prosecutor: “Did he do anything else as those sounds continued?”
Alleged victim: “He got my clothes for me and told me to put on my clothes.”
The alleged victim then testified that she latched onto a Boston police officer and started crying as they took her out of the apartment.
Pena’s defense attorney only had a few questions, asking the alleged victim if Pena had made it clear to her that he was depressed over the deaths of his parents. She acknowledged that he had indeed made it clear.
While jury selection was previously taking place, Pena committed a lewd act in front of a court Zoom camera, so he is not attending his own trial in person.
Pena’s attorney hopes to mount a diminished capacity defense.
Check out Bob Ward’s live tweets from the trial below:
This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.
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