Man gets 8-year prison term for sexual assault in La Jolla
by NEAL PUTNAM
Published - 01/12/17 - 05:53 PM | 0 0 comments | 36 36 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Eight years in state prison was the term handed down Monday to a man who was convicted Dec. 8 of sexually assaulting a young woman in La Jolla who was attacked while walking to her car after work.

Marco Villasenor, 25, was ordered to register as a sex offender for life after he is paroled from prison. San Diego Superior Court Judge Louis Hanoian said he was dangerous and inflicted “great mental cruelty” to the victim.

The 26-year-old victim told the judge the March 2, 2016, incident “has completely changed my life and who I am.” She described herself in the past as being courageous, but said now she is “so consumed with fear.”

“The career I loved was stolen from me by Marco Villasenor,” said the victim angrily. “He does not think what he did was wrong.”

She quit her job in La Jolla after the incident which took place on someone’s front lawn on Torrey Pines Road and Exchange Place around 9 p.m. She said Villasenor jabbed his fingers into her vagina, but left as she began screaming as loud as she could.

The jury convicted him, after only 2 ½ hours of deliberation, of rape with a foreign object and resisting arrest. Paper bags had been placed over his hands by police to preserve evidence and he broke through several bags. Officers re-bagged his hands three times.

The victim’s DNA was found on his fingers and his DNA was found in microscopic areas of her underwear, according to testimony.

Deputy District Attorney Judy Taschner and the probation department urged the maximum 8-year sentence. Taschner said the incident represented “every woman’s nightmare.” The probation report said Villasenor scored a “moderate to high risk” of re-offending in another sex crime.

Although Villasenor said nothing Monday, the judge recalled his testimony in which he claimed the woman was not only a willing participant, but had initiated the sexual contact. Villasenor testified she moaned and moved her body towards him during the incident. Villasenor testified they had “a great connection.”

“In all my 24 years on the bench, I had never heard a more preposterous story,” said Hanoian, who added that Villasenor’s story was “absurd.”

“He demonstrates a total lack of awareness,” said Hanoian, who added that he inflicted “severe emotional and physical injury” upon the victim.

Hanoian said Villasenor displayed “a lack of remorse,” but his attorney, Robert Bernstein, said “Mr. Villasenor maintains his innocence” and can’t show remorse for something he didn’t do.

Bernstein said “a multitude of character letters” were sent to the judge. He said his client is “a sweet and gentle man,” and this behavior was an “abhorrent” character departure. Bernstein said Villasenor has been taking care of his elderly grandfather.

Bernstein asked the judge to impose a 3-year term and he filed a notice of appeal of the verdict. Villasenor is from Oxnard and was in La Jolla working temporarily with a solar panel company.

Hanoian said the 40 days that Villasenor has served in jail will be applied to the misdemeanor resisting arrest conviction. He was fined $2,924 and the judge signed a 10-year restraining order against Villasenor. The victim has made a claim to the crime victim’s fund and that is pending.

Villasenor has no prior felony record, but he was convicted of misdemeanor drunk driving in 2012 in Ventura County for which he received probation. He also was convicted of a misdemeanor charge of using someone else’s credit card in 2010 and he was sentenced to 10 days in jail.
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