Teens Get ‘Life’ In Rape Case

Police: Pair Broke Into College Student’s Home

Posted: August 31, 2013

HARRISONBURG — Last October, two 16-year-old boys armed with a knife broke into the home of a 22-year-old James Madison University student.

They woke up the woman and brutally raped her multiple times throughout the home.

On May 31, Judge T.J. Wilson found one of the teens, Darien Vasquez, guilty of 20 felony counts, including multiple counts of rape and sodomy. He found the other defendant, Brandon Valentin, guilty of 14 felony counts, including multiple counts of rape and sodomy.

On Friday, Wilson threw the book at the pair, essentially handing them life sentences.

He sentenced Vasquez to 133 years in prison and Valentin to 68 years. Vasquez has an additional 150 years of suspended time and Valentin 80 years. Both were convicted and sentenced as adults.

“There are certain things you do in life, that you just can’t get a second chance,” Wilson said during Friday’s sentencing hearing.

Before they were sentenced, both defendants apologized for their actions.

The victim did not attend the sentencing. Although several members of her family did, none spoke during the hearing.

The Case

During the two-day trial in May, prosecutors said that on the night of Oct. 19, the victim was home alone nursing a cold. She took some medicine and went to bed around 8 p.m.

Prosecutors said that shortly before midnight, Valentin and Vasquez entered the woman’s townhome in the Hunters Ridge complex through a window, went up to the second-floor bedroom and woke her at knife point.

After the suspects left, the victim drove to a friend’s home, where she called police. Police say the suspects were arrested a couple of blocks from the crime scene and later confessed during questioning.

Once arrested, Valentin and Vasquez were placed in adjacent interrogation rooms at the Harrisonburg Police Department. Left alone while audio and video recording devices were still activated, the two began talking through the walls, an HPD investigator testified during the trial.

The defendants could be heard laughing and joking about raping the woman and suggesting they should have just killed her on a 28-minute segment of the recording that was played in court.

During Friday’s sentencing hearing, Rockingham County Commonwealth’s Attorney Marsha Garst said the victim, who lived elsewhere in Virginia before attending JMU, has left the country and now lives in fear.

“She locks herself in a closet [to sleep at night],” Garst said. “She has a life sentence of terror.”

Vasquez is being held at Middle River Regional Jail in Augusta County without bond. Valentin was being held without bond at the Shenandoah Valley Detention Center, also located in Augusta County, but will be transferred to MRRJ.

At some point, they will be transferred to the custody of the Virginia Department of Corrections.

Contact Pete DeLea at 574-6278 or pdelea@dnronline.com

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