SAN DIEGO — A young man convicted of raping a woman in her Grantville home last year and robbing another in the same neighborhood about a month earlier was sentenced Thursday to more than 66 years to life in prison.
Londrea Eugene Raymond, 21, learned his fate during an emotional hearing in San Diego Superior Court, where one of the victims urged the judge to order the maximum sentence available under the law, and the defendant’s parents begged for mercy on their son.
Judge Frank Brown chose not to go with a maximum term of more than 95 years to life, noting Raymond’s age at the time of the offenses — he was 19 — and that he did not have a serious criminal record.
“He does not have any significant life experience,” the judge said, adding that he also considered Raymond’s methamphetamine use and “family stresses” that factored into his crimes.
A defense attorney said Raymond “couldn’t deal with his girlfriend’s pregnancy and turned to drugs.”
But the judge acknowledged the seriousness of the defendant’s crimes and said the evidence used against him in trial was overwhelming.
A jury convicted Raymond in May of rape, forcible oral copulation, robbery and residential burglary. He had been charged in connection with two incidents: one on Dec. 30, 2009, the other on Feb. 3, 2010.
According to court documents, Raymond approached a woman as she sat in the driver’s seat of her car outside her apartment complex on Vandever Avenue near Mission Gorge Road. He took the woman’s purse from her lap.
The victim told investigators her attacker had a gun.
About a month later, Raymond entered a 26-year-old woman’s apartment in the same area through an unlocked door and forced her into a back room about 10:30 p.m. He had the pellet gun with him, which investigators later determined was inoperable.
Raymond ordered the woman to take off her clothes, raped her and forced her to perform a sex act on him. Afterward, he moved her to an alley about a block away, took her car keys and told her to leave.
A description of the attacker was given to all trolley stations, and Raymond was arrested about 1 a.m. the next morning at a station in Chollas View. He had items in his possession that came from the victim’s apartment.
She told the judge Thursday that she had been struggling over the past year to put the ordeal behind her, but felt she couldn’t move forward until Raymond had been sentenced to the maximum term allowed.
“I just hope that you understand how much pain I’ve been through in the past year,” the woman said.
The San Diego Union-Tribune is not identifying the woman because she is a victim of a sex crime. Only her first name was used in court.
Deputy District Attorney Lucy Yturralde called Raymond a “predator” who had time to stop and reflect on what he was doing during the sexual assault but continued anyway.
The defendant’s parents apologized to the victims for their pain and suffering but took exception with the prosecutor’s words.
“He is a good kid that made some bad choices…,” said Duane Raymond. “I know that he’s remorseful.”
Deputy Public Defender Zaki Zehawi, argued that his client should receive a lesser prison term — 33 years to life — so that he could have some hope of parole one day.
SAN DIEGO — A 21-year-old man who raped a woman at gunpoint in her apartment about a month after robbing another woman in the same Grantville neighborhood was sentenced Thursday to 66 years to life in state prison.
Londrea Eugene Raymond was convicted in May of six charges, including forcible rape, forcible oral copulation and burglary. Jurors also found that the defendant used a pellet gun during the sexual assault and a gun during the robbery.
A 30-year-old woman testified that she was getting into her car the afternoon of Dec. 30, 2009, when a man demanded her purse, valuables and spare change. She said she didn’t say anything and leaned back as the armed robber took her purse off her lap.
A 26-year-old woman testified that she was sexually assaulted and robbed the night of Feb. 3, 2010, after getting home from a class.
She said an armed man forced her into a bedroom, where he ordered her to orally copulate him, then raped her before ordering her again to perform oral sex.
“It’s been the hardest year of my life,” the rape victim told Judge Frank Brown today. “I’ve been struggling with so much.”
Deputy District Attorney Lucy Yturralde argued that Raymond deserved a sentence of 95 years to life behind bars.
Raymond’s attorney, Zaki Zehawi, said giving his client the maximum sentence was akin to life in prison without the possibility of parole. By imposing that kind of sentence, the court was saying, “There’s no hope for him (Raymond),” the defense attorney said.
Zehawi said Raymond got into methamphetamine when he couldn’t deal with his pregnant girlfriend.
Duane Raymond said his son — who hadn’t been in trouble before — was hooked on crystal meth for 45 days when the crimes occurred.
“He’s not a bad person, he made some bad choices,” the father said. “This whole ordeal is totally out of character for my son.”
But Yturralde said the defendant had a chance to reflect after sexually assaulting the victim the first time.
The judge agreed with the prosecutor, calling the defendant a “predator.”
“The best I can do for you is to give your son a life sentence,” Brown told the defendant’s father.
After the sexual assault, Raymond was detained with a backpack at a trolley station about 15-20 minutes away from the rape victim’s apartment, police said.
Inside the backpack were some of the victim’s belongings and a black replica pellet gun that looked real but was inoperable, police said.