General Crime

Man Re-Convicted of Kidnapping and Rapes After 1st Conviction Overturned on Technicality in Sonoma County, California

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A Santa Rosa man was sentenced today to 75 years in prison for kidnapping and raping three women in 2006 and 2009. Rogelio Carlos-Zaragoza, 29, was initially convicted four years ago of the abductions and rapes and sentenced to 75 years in prison. The conviction was overturned by an appellate court because the jury was not instructed before deliberating that the prosecution must prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. Carlos-Zaragoza was retried and reconvicted of the same charges on Aug. 18.

Sonoma County Superior Court Judge Rene Chouteau sentenced Carlos-Zaragoza again to 75 years in prison. “Conviction by a second jury reaffirms the truth of the allegations against this sexual predator,” Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch said. Carlos-Zaragoza’s brother, Leonel Carlos-Zaragoza, was convicted of one of the rapes and sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. Rogelio Carlos-Zaragoza was reconvicted of raping one of the women in a vineyard with three of his friends on June 16, 2006 and raping another woman with his three friends in a vineyard on July 28, 2006, Ravitch said.

The jury also reconvicted Rogelio Carlos-Zaragoza of rape in concert with a kidnapping allegation on July 24, 2009 when his brother Leonel kidnapped a girl at knifepoint and raped her in the back seat while Rogelio drove, Ravitch said. DNA tests linked Rogelio Carlos-Zaragoza to the two rapes in 2006, Ravitch said. Deputy District Attorney Tania Partida prosecuted Rogelio Carlos-Zaragoza at both trials.

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