Jury reaches verdict in Boston kidnapping, rape trial

Jury reaches verdict in Boston kidnapping, rape trial

Jurors only needed about two hours of deliberations on Tuesday to convict a man accused of kidnapping a woman and then raping her for several days in his Charlestown apartment. Victor Pena, 42, was charged with kidnapping and 10 counts of aggravated rape for allegedly holding the 23-year-old woman against her will and sexually assaulting her for three days at his Walford Way home in January 2019. He was found guilty on all counts. After six days of testimony and evidence, closing arguments were delivered Tuesday morning and the jury was sent to begin deliberating at noon. The court announced that a verdict was reached around 2 pm, and the guilty verdicts were revealed in the courtroom less than 30 minutes later. In a surprise move, Pena testified in his own defense of him Monday about the allegations, claiming what transpired during the three days in question was consensual. Pena’s meandering testimony was often halted and redirected by the court.He said the accuser asked him for help and wanted to go to his apartment.“And we started to have nice chemistry,” Pena testified via an interpreter. “I said I have an apartment, I had housing, and then, ‘Let’s go to your apartment,’ she said.”Pena also said he was a victim of police abuse when officers entered the apartment.The prosecution did not cross-examine Pena. Earlier in the trial, the accuser testified that Pena sexually assaulted her multiple times and threatened her if she tried to leave. “I didn’t want to die,” the woman told the court. The accuser said she feared for her life. ‘ he threatened to kill me,'” she said. “I think, he just said, like, ‘You can’t leave. Don’t get up or I’ll kill you.'”The accuser testified Pena told her that he rescued her and they would start a family. She told jurors that she tried to escape twice unsuccessfully. She also said she wondered whether she could hit him or stab him with something, but fearing what would happen if she failed, she decided against it. Pena forced her to drink alcohol and fed her nothing but canned pineapple.A digital forensic specialist said 322 photos and six explicit videos of the victim were found on Pena’s phone.Two police detectives who were the first to enter the apartment described finding a terrified woman “She was shaking, crying, had her arms clutching her face she was disheveled and had a horrified look on her face,” said Michael Talbot, a retired Boston police detective.Until he took the stand, Pena was not present in the courtroom during testimony and was instead watching remotely from another room following inappropriate behavior and disruptive outbursts. During proceedings to seat a jury, Pena suddenly appeared naked on a monitor in the courtroom while he performed a lewd act. After about 16 seconds, the monitor in the courtroom was turned off. The potential jurors who were in the courtroom were excused because of what they might have seen. Pena was found competent to stand trial following a stay at Bridgewater State Hospital.

Jurors only needed about two hours of deliberations on Tuesday to convict a man accused of kidnapping a woman and then raping her for several days in his Charlestown apartment.

Victor Pena, 42, was charged with kidnapping and 10 counts of aggravated rape for allegedly holding the 23-year-old woman against her will and sexually assaulting her for three days at his Walford Way home in January 2019.

He was found guilty on all accounts.

After six days of testimony and evidence, closing arguments were delivered Tuesday morning and the jury was sent to begin deliberating at noon. The court announced that a verdict was reached around 2 pm, and the guilty verdicts were revealed in the courtroom less than 30 minutes later.

In a surprise move, Pena testified in his own defense Monday about the allegations, claiming what transpired during the three days in question was consensual.

Pena’s meandering testimony was often halted and redirected by the court.

He said the accuser asked him for help and wanted to go to his apartment.

“And we started to have nice chemistry,” Pena testified via an interpreter. “I said I have an apartment, I had housing, and then, ‘Let’s go to your apartment,’ she said.”

Pena also said he was a victim of police abuse when officers entered the apartment.

The prosecution did not cross-examine Penalty.

Earlier in the trial, the accuser testified that Pena sexually assaulted her multiple times and threatened her if she tried to leave.

“I didn’t want to die,” the woman told the court.

The accuser said she feared for her life.

“He wouldn’t let me leave, and then, after I was like, ‘No, I have to leave,’ he threatened to kill me,'” she said. “I think, he just said, like, ‘You can ‘t leave. Don’t get up or I’ll kill you.'”

The accuser testified Pena told her that he rescued her and they would start a family.

She told jurors that she tried to escape twice unsuccessfully. She also said she wondered whether she could hit him or stab him with something, but fearing what would happen if she failed, she decided against it.

Penalty allegedly held her against her will for three days in his Charlestown apartment. The woman was later found alive.

Prosecutors said the accuser told police Pena forced her to drink alcohol and fed her nothing but canned pineapple.

A digital forensic specialist said 322 photos and six explicit videos of the victim were found on Pena’s phone.

Two police detectives who were the first to enter the apartment described finding a terrified woman.

“She was shaking, crying, had her arms clutching her face she was disheveled and had a horrified look on her face,” said Michael Talbot, a retired Boston police detective.

Until he took the stand, Pena was not present in the courtroom during testimony and was instead watching remotely from another room following inappropriate behavior and disruptive outbursts. During proceedings to seat a jury, Pena suddenly appeared naked on a monitor in the courtroom while he performed a lewd act. After about 16 seconds, the monitor in the courtroom was turned off.

The potential jurors who were in the courtroom were excused because of what they might have seen.

Pena was found competent to stand trial following a stay at Bridgewater State Hospital.

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