BOSTON (WHDH) - Victor Peña, whom a jury determined held a Boston woman captive in his apartment for three days in 2019, was sentenced to 29 to 39 years in prison, the Suffolk County DA’s office announced.
“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?” the victim said in a statement. “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.”
She described attempting to “take up the least amount of space possible,” missing out on her twenties and the feeling that “nothing feels safe” after her ordeal. Her full statement is available here.
Prior to sentencing, the judge called out Peña’s conduct in court, including when he performed a lewd act over video conference during jury selection.
As 7NEWS previously reported, during closing arguments, the prosecution argued Peña acted “deliberately, predatory and violent.” Meanwhile, the defense said Peña is mentally unstable, and said if he is found not guilty, he would be put in a mental facility for a period of time, if not his entire life.
Prosecutors opted not to cross examine Peña and instead called in a forensic psychologist who testified how the accused did not appear to suffer from any psychotic disorder.
“He did not meet criteria based on everything that I saw and reviewed for an underlying psychotic or mood disorder,” said Dr. John Young.
Peña originally decided not to speak on his own behalf, but reversed course and testified, delaying the final phase of the trial.
The 42-year-old’s appearance surprised those who thought closing arguments were on the day’s docket. Peña, who faced ten counts of aggravated rape and one count of kidnapping, could be seen carrying two bibles while taking the stand in Suffolk Superior Court.
“I said, ‘Well, I’m only getting to know you’ but she wants to kiss me,” Peña said through an interpreter. “But I did not want to have relations with (her).”
He told jurors officers beat him up after they located him with the victim, lifting his shirt to show jurors his ribs, which he said were broken by police.
Jurors heard from the victim when she took the stand last week, telling the court how Peña threatened to kill her if she did not listen to him while she was trapped at his apartment.
The final evidence shown to the jury during the trial were photographs showing Peña alongside the woman as she loses her footing. One image shows Peña carrying the woman, another holding her up.
The jury reached their deliberation quickly, having their guilty decision in just two hours.
Peña will be eligible for parole in 2051, when he is 71 years old.
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