A former Mexican police officer in this country illegally was sentenced today to 72 years to life for raping one Aurora woman and attempting to sexually assault a second woman.
On Dec. 6, 2017, an Arapahoe County jury found Ricardo Corral-Venegas, 27, guilty of all charges against him.
On Wednesday, Judge Jeffrey Holmes sentenced him to 32 years for sex assault, 16 years for kidnapping, 16 years for burglary, 4 years for attempted sex assault and 4 years for attempted burglary. The various concurrent and consecutive orders add up to 72 years.
Sentences for sex assault are indeterminate. After the 72 years has been served, it will be up to the Colorado Department of Corrections to determine whether Corral-Venegas is sufficiently rehabilitated to be released back into society. If that is ever the case, he faces 20 years to life on parole.
“While I am grateful for the courage of the victims in this difficult case and the predictably tremendous work of the Aurora Police Department and our prosecutors, I am left with an overwhelming feeling of outrage. Let me be clear: The rape and attempted sexual assault of these victims at the hands of an evil serial rapist is a direct consequence of the failure of our federal government to secure our southern border,” said District Attorney George Brauchler. “This malicious coward had already been deported once before skipping back across our border on his way to victimize mothers in our community. And who pays for this ongoing failure to protect our borders? The victims of his rape spree do — likely forever.
“And who else pays? We do. Taxpayers paid for the police to catch him, the defense attorneys who aggressively went after the victims in an attempt to exonerate him, the courtroom which held the many motions hearings and trial, and we will now pay to warehouse this scumbag for the rest of his life.”
He added: “Add this case to the long list of heinous crimes that would not have occurred if we had a secure border. Dear Mr. President and Congress, pretty please with sugar on top, do something right now to fix this. Protect this community and its families. We deserve it.”
Aurora police were called to the Santana Ridge Condominiums on South Geneva Way on Oct. 4, 2016. A woman who lived there reported a man had forced his way into her apartment and raped her at knifepoint. Her one-year-old son was in the apartment but was not injured. The man left, threatening to kill the woman and her son if she told anyone or called police. The woman was able to give police a detailed description of the suspect.
On Oct. 13, police were called to the same complex on a report of an attempted sexual assault. The woman was able to keep the man out when he tried to force his way inside. She locked the door and called police with a suspect description.
Police quickly located the suspect, Corral-Venegas, in a nearby restaurant and took him into custody. They determined he was responsible for both incidents.
The second victim spoke to the court during sentencing.
“I am going to live the rest of my life bearing this trauma. … Every time my doorbell rings, I relive the events that happened that day,” she said. “This has caused me to lose my trust in society and humanity as a whole. You can’t get that back.”
Investigators found that Corral-Venegas had been a police officer in Chihuahua, Mexico. A warrant there alleged he raped five women. He entered the United States illegally, was deported and re-entered the country illegally again.
Prosecutors referenced that in seeking the maximum sentence of 140 years to life.
“An invasion of your home by a stranger is what keeps good people up at night … There is no redemption for people who commit crimes such as this,” Chief Deputy District Attorney Christopher Gallo told the court. “It is the court’s responsibility for the safety to this community to put this defendant away for as long as possible. This defendant is not entitled to the hope of release … He relinquished that the minute he chose to bring violence and terror into his victims’ lives.”
Judge Holmes praised the victims, saying, “both young women have shown exceptional intestinal fortitude and courage and clarity in dealing with this horrible situation.”
Holmes added: “Police officers everywhere are responsible to try to protect the public, not prey on them.”
The first Aurora victim of Corral-Venegas also addressed the court.
“He has taken a part of me I can never get back, and he put my child in danger … for that, I hope he rots. He is a sociopath beyond repair,” the woman said. “He has made a place for himself among the rapists, scumbags and pedophiles of the earth, and that is where he belongs. … Today is his reckoning, and his time is up.”