BOSTON — The man who held a young woman captive in his Boston apartment and raped her for days was found guilty of all charges Tuesday, just one day after he took the stand in his own defense.
A Suffolk Superior Court jury found Victor Pena, of Charlestown, guilty of one count of rape, one count of kidnapping, and 10 counts of aggravated rape after only two hours of deliberations.
Pena was not present in the court when the jurors returned their verdict. He listened in via Zoom.
District Attorney Kevin Hayden thanked the prosecutors in the case and the victim witness advocate, after the verdict.
“But it was the survivor in this case who truly rose to the challenge,” said Hayden. “Most of us go through life never having to experience an ordeal of terror like this young woman experienced at the hands of Victor Pena. When the path to justice required her to recount those awful moments, she proved equal to the task. She was brave. She was articulate. She was in command of the facts. She gave the jury the evidence they needed to hold this man accountable for his horrible crimes.”
Pena faces up to 10 years in prison for kidnapping and up to life in prison for each aggravated rape count, according to the district attorney’s office.
During his trial, prosecutors laid out evidence linking Pena to the kidnapping of a young North Shore woman near Henessey’s on a weekend evening in January 2019. He then imprisoned the victim in his apartment and raped for her days.
On the stand last week, the victim told the court that 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 victim said 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, victim said, “I didn’t want to die, so I let him.” She also told the court that she thought about jumping out of a window, but feared seriously injuring or killing herself.
In a surprise move Monday, Pena took the stand in his own defense. It was the jury’s first glimpse of Pena. During jury selection he committed a lewd act and was kept out of the courtroom for his trial.
Pena spoke through an interpreter, but he repeatedly, and unexpectedly stood up in the witness box and gestured towards the jury. At one point, he even lifted his shirt when he claimed arresting police beat him.
Video surveillance cameras in the area of Faneuil Hall recorded the moment on January 19, 2019 when Pena first encountered the victim. More video shows Pena with his arm around the victim.
The prosecution said that Pena was directing her to the T, and to his Charlestown apartment, where he repeatedly raped her. But while on the stand, Pena, wearing what appeared to be a rosary bead necklace, told the jury the intoxicated woman was immediately attracted to him.
The victim testified last week that she could not remember how she got to Charlestown. Pena claimed he wanted to take her to a hospital, but said she insisted going to his house.
A forensic psychologist called by the prosecution testified, that in his opinion, Pena does not suffer from mental illness.
A judge ordered him held without bail. He is due back in court for a sentencing hearing on Aug. 1.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.
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