Everett men get 20 years for rape

By Scott North

Herald Writer

She stood in court Tuesday, her brother’s arm wrapped protectively around her shoulder, and told a Snohomish County judge about the carnage left by the two rapists who abducted her from an Everett grocery store parking lot.

Since that night in late May, the 28-year-old Everett woman said, she no longer feels comfortable around strangers. She has a hard time going to the store.

"I know that this world is not as bad as what these two gentlemen did," she said, but added that at times the fear overwhelms her.

The men responsible for that fear, Raul Celso Orea-Herrera, 23, and Miguel R. Roman, 21, won’t be free for a long time.

Judge Joseph Thibodeau sentenced the pair to 20 years in prison, the maximum punishment under state sentencing guidelines. The Everett men had earlier pleaded guilty to first-degree kidnapping and two counts of first-degree rape.

Thibodeau said the plea likely spared the pair from more charges and even longer sentences, had their actions been fully aired at a trial.

"There probably isn’t a judge on this bench who wouldn’t be so grieved by these facts" that they wouldn’t impose an exceptional sentence, Thibodeau said.

Orea-Herrera and Roman admitted attacking the woman as she walked to her car just before 2 a.m. May 24 after visiting an Everett Albertson’s store. Both defendants admitted repeatedly sexually assaulting the woman after knocking her over the head with a beer bottle and pulling her into their car.

After the rapes, the woman was kicked and perhaps left for dead by her attackers when they abandoned her in a field east of Snohomish, according to court papers.

"I’m really sorry for what happened," Orea-Herrera told the judge, saying he’d damaged both the woman’s life and his own. Speaking through an interpreter, Roman offered a similar apology.

Stephen Garvey, Roman’s court appointed attorney, and Rick Leo, Orea-Herrera’s public defender, both argued in favor of 10-year sentences.

The kidnapping and rapes were part of the same criminal conduct and should be punished by concurrent prison terms, Garvey said.

Deputy prosecutor Chris Dickinson disagreed, arguing the men took turns sexually assaulting the victim while driving around with her in their car. Each man not only attacked the woman, but also acted as an accomplice to his co-defendant, making him culpable for the other’s bad acts as well, the prosecutor said.

Thibodeau said consecutive sentences were in order for the pair because there was evidence the repeated rapes were separate acts. He told the defendants they can appeal, but added he’ll simply hold a hearing and make a more complete record to support the lengthy sentences, if that becomes necessary.

Both defendants are natives of Mexico and face deportation after serving their prison terms, the judge was told.

The men were linked to the attack after police viewed surveillance tapes showing them purchasing beer in the store a few minutes before the abduction. One of the men showed a driver’s license to prove he was old enough to buy alcohol, and that information was captured in store computers. After the arrest, the pair waived their rights and acknowledged attacking the woman.

You can call Herald Writer Scott North at 425-339-3431 or send e-mail to

north@heraldnet.com.

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