nvdaily.com link to home page

Traffic | Weather | Mobile Edition
Archives | Subscribe | Guide to the Daily

Local News arrow Courts & Legal News arrow Woodstock

| 1 | 0 Comments

Convicted man withdraws request

* Breaking News

If local news is breaking and you know about it:
* Call Us: 800-296-5137
* E-mail Us
* Upload Your Photos

Mendoza no longer seeking jury trial, sentence reduction in 2006 gang rape

By Preston Knight-pknight@nvdaily.com

WOODSTOCK -- A man who had sought to have his eight-year prison sentence for aggravated sexual battery and gang participation vacated withdrew the motion Wednesday afternoon in Shenandoah County Circuit Court.

Antonio Mendoza, 22, formerly of Alexandria, was sentenced as part of a plea agreement in October on the two charges in relation to his involvement at a 2006 party in Woodstock where two 15-year-old girls were raped.

Through his attorney in November, he argued that special prosecutor Phil Figura had proffered witness testimony from a special grand jury that was supposed to be protected by immunity. Citing that as grounds to set aside the verdict, Mendoza then sought a jury trial.

On Wednesday, the defendant backed off that position, apparently realizing that he ran the risk of lengthening his prison time if he went in front of a jury. Before withdrawing the motion, Mendoza told Judge Dennis L. Hupp that he did think that his immunity was used against him.

The part of the proffer that seemed to be in dispute concerned Mendoza taking, or almost dragging, his victim to a van, and while there were no eyewitnesses to the assault, the vehicle was seen shaking and the defendant stated he had relations with her and she was naked, Figura said. He said Mendoza's version of events was later questioned, but even if that particular piece of evidence was redacted, the remaining proffer was sufficient.

Hupp said that part of the proffer was not used to find Mendoza guilty, and he did not understand why the defendant, who originally was charged with rape, wanted to risk his fate by trying the case over, especially seeing the penalties co-defendants in the case have received.

"He got a less severe sentence," Hupp said.

Of the four other men charged in the case, two have been sentenced -- one received 20 years to serve for two rapes, gang participation and forcible sodomy, and another 18 years to serve for rape, sodomy and gang participation.

Leave a comment

What do you think?

(You may use HTML tags for style)


Comments that are posted on nvdaily.com represent the opinion of the commenter and not the Northern Virginia Daily/nvdaily.com.

Comments that contain Web addresses, e-mail addresses, personal attacks, name-calling or personal information considered by the editor to be inappropriate for posting here will not be posted.

Commenters agree to abide by our COMMENTS POLICY when posting. Questions? E-mail us at info@nvdaily.com.


Local News Sections

2010: Year in Review Apple Blossom Festival Basye Berryville Big Picture Books Boyce Breaking News Business City of Winchester Clarke County Cockfighting Case College Columns Corrections Courthouse Notes Courts & Legal News Crime & Public Safety Economy and Jobs Edinburg Edward N. Bell Entertainment Entertainment Spotlight Environment Fall 2010 Feature Photos Featured Festivals Financial Fire Fort Valley Frederick County Front Royal Hard Times Health History Holidays Homes In The Spotlight Jody Lynn Bradley Justin Shane Slater Ledger Library Livestock Local Government Local Markets Local Sports Maurertown Media Middletown Military & Veterans Moms Mt. Jackson New Market New Market Fire Department Page County Pets & Animals Politics Power Line Quicksburg Religion School News Shenandoah County Solar Farm Staff Picks Stephens City Strasburg Swine Flu The Year in Review Toms Brook Tourism Traffic & Transportation Upcoming Events Video In The Spotlight Volunteer Rescue Squads Warren County Weather Woodstock

News | Sports | Business | Lifestyle | Obituaries | Opinion | Multimedia| Entertainment | Homes | Classifieds
Guide to the Daily: Advertise | Circulation | Contact Us | NIE | Place a Classified | Privacy Policy | Subscribe

Copyright © The Northern Virginia Daily | nvdaily.com | 152 N. Holliday St., Strasburg, Va. 22657 | (800) 296-5137

The best small daily newspaper in Virginia!

nvdaily.com | seeshenandoah.com