Two teens will spend most of their life behind bars for the "brutal, callous and ruthless" act of raping two girls in a Rancho Peñasquitos park.
When Judge Peter Deddeh sentenced 17-year-old William Rodriguez to 50 years to life for his role in the crime, the young man appeared straight-faced.
Leonel Contreras, 18, showed no reaction when he learned he will spend 58 years to life in prison. Contreras earned an additional 8 years for using a knife in the crime.
Rodriguez and Contreras attacked two girls from behind as they sat under a tree in a park on Spindletop Road in September 2011.
The teenagers forced the victims across a street at knife point to a secluded area where the attack lasted 30 minutes. At the time, the defendants were both 16 and their victims were 15 and 16.
Deddeh called the case “heartbreaking” and told Rodriguez that he had taken his victim’s spirit.
He then addressed abuse in Rodriguez’ childhood saying, "His background is terrible and his crime is terrible."
During the sentencing, a letter was read from one victim’s mother telling Rodriguez that he had changed her 15-year-old daughter forever.
“Since that September 2011 day, she’s had months of violent nightmares, heart racing, flashbacks and fear of people walking behind her,” the mother wrote.
The mother went on to say the teenage victim has chosen to heal and move on with her life.
“She has courage and determination,” she wrote.
Rodriguez and Contreras were tried as adults before separate juries and convicted in November. Contreras was found guilty on all 21 counts. Rodriguez was convicted on 10 counts.