RANCHO BERNARDO, CA — Two teenage boys who kidnapped and sexually assaulted two girls in a Rancho Penasquitos park were sentenced Thursday to 58- and 50-year- to-life prison terms.
Leonel Contreras, 18, was sentenced to the lengthier term. He and co- defendant William Steven Rodriguez, 17, were both 16 at the time of the Sept. 3, 2011, attack. They were tried as adults and convicted by separate juries last year.
Rodriguez was found guilty of 10 of 21 charges, including forcible oral copulation and forcible sodomy. Contreras was convicted on 21 counts, including conspiracy, rape and kidnapping and the use of a knife.
More at the link . . . if you can stomach it.
Mr Contreras, now 18 years old, will be eligible for release from prison when he is 76 years old; Mr Rodriguez, now 17, might get out when he is just 67 years old. Two young men, high on marijuana and apparently deprived of any sort of actual child rearing by decent parents, somehow thought it would be a good idea to rape two teenaged girls at knife point.
To the mothers of the defendants, the victim’s parents said, “Our hearts break for you.”
Perhaps the parents of the second victim are more charitable than is your Editor, but those two young men are going to spend five decades and more in prison in part because their mothers had somehow not taught them that rape was something that you just don’t do, and that smoking pot was something you just don’t do.
A lot of people have had their lives messed up by this. The two victims will have to live with the attacks they suffered, but with strength, they may be able to overcome their assaults; most of us will probably never know. The victims’ parents might actually suffer more than the victims themselves. The families of the rapists are losing their sons to the California prison system, and will never again see them free. The rapists themselves have lost the greater portion of their lives to their own stupidity.
Make no mistake here: I believe that they absolutely deserve the sentences that they have received; they are going exactly where they belong. But this wasn’t something that just happened out of the blue. Their mothers had failed them. The story doesn’t mention their fathers, but their fathers failed them as well.1 Their neighborhood, their culture, failed them. It’s one thing to know that rape is against the law, and I’d guess that Messrs Contreras and Rodriguez did know that. But it’s something else to know, to understand, to internalize the idea that rape is just plain wrong, something you just do not do. Mothers and fathers and aunts and uncles and grandmothers and grandfathers are all supposed to be teaching these boys the difference between right and wrong, and somehow, that just didn’t happen.
- My father was gone, too, after I was seven years old, but somehow I still knew better than to try to rape a girl. ↩