BOSTON — The man who held a young woman captive in his Boston apartment and raped her for days was sentenced to up to 39 years in prison on Monday.
Victor Pena, of Charlestown, was handed his prison sentence in Suffolk Superior Court, less than a week after a jury found him guilty of one count of rape, one count of kidnapping, and 10 counts of aggravated rape.
Pena was not present in the court for the sentencing hearing, but his victim was in attendance. She submitted a victim impact statement, which prosecutors said didn’t have to be read aloud.
In the statement, the victim wrote, “There are no words to describe how this has impacted me. How am I supposed to articulate something that has completely turned my world upside down? When I think about how this affected me, I think about how I never fully came back from those days. A part of me died in that apartment and I mourn for the life I could have lived-was supposed to live. I’ve spent the better part of the past three and a half years trying to take up the least amount of space possible. Trying to fit the image of the perfect survivor - worried that someone was watching my every move. Acting if everything was fine. Trying to stand in the right place so that the shadow that follows me looks half the size that it is. I’m so exhausted...This is a horrifying chapter that I’ve wanted to close from the second that it started and I can’t. I’m angry that I had to put the pieces of my life back together and I’m angry that they don’t fit back the same way as they used to. I’ve been trying to figure out a way to end this, but I don’t think there is. There will never be an end to the number of ways this has destroyed my life.”
The prosecution requested 33-60 years in prison for Pena, describing him as a “risk” and the “most deliberately difficult person” the court has ever seen. The defense argued that something is “deeply wrong” with Pena, saying he needs help.
A judge ultimately imposed a sentence of 29-39 years behind bars, citing an abundance of video and photographic evidence that incriminated Pena.
During his trial, prosecutors laid out evidence linking Pena to the kidnapping of a young North Shore woman near Henessey’s on a weekend evening in January 2019. He then imprisoned the victim in his apartment and raped for her days.
On the stand last week, the victim told the court that she recalled going to Henessey’s with friends and having fun, adding that her next memory was waking up in Pena’s filth-covered apartment. The victim said she woke up naked on a bed without sheets in Pena’s messy room and attempted to leave but he allegedly stopped her.
In describing the rape, victim said, “I didn’t want to die, so I let him.” She also told the court that she thought about jumping out of a window, but feared seriously injuring or killing herself.
In a surprise move Monday, Pena took the stand in his own defense. It was the jury’s first glimpse of Pena. During jury selection he committed a lewd act and was kept out of the courtroom for his trial.
Pena spoke through an interpreter, but he repeatedly, and unexpectedly stood up in the witness box and gestured towards the jury. At one point, he even lifted his shirt when he claimed arresting police beat him.
Video surveillance cameras in the area of Faneuil Hall recorded the moment on January 19, 2019 when Pena first encountered the victim. More video shows Pena with his arm around the victim.
The prosecution said that Pena was directing her to the T, and to his Charlestown apartment, where he repeatedly raped her. But while on the stand, Pena, wearing what appeared to be a rosary bead necklace, told the jury the intoxicated woman was immediately attracted to him.
The victim testified last week that she could not remember how she got to Charlestown. Pena claimed he wanted to take her to a hospital, but said she insisted going to his house.
A forensic psychologist called by the prosecution testified, that in his opinion, Pena does not suffer from mental illness.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.
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