Friday, January 12, 2007 6:57 PM PST
By: North County Times wire services - SANTA ANA -
A day laborer who used a 6.6-pound rock to beat a young woman about the face and head before sexually assaulting her in rural Trabuco Canyon was sentenced today to 46 years to life in prison for the 2004 attack that put her in a coma and left her with disabling injuries. Raul Salvador Marin, 33, was convicted last October of attempted murder and five other counts, including assault with intent to commit rape, sexual penetration by a foreign object by force, kidnapping to commit rape and aggravated assault. Orange County Superior Court Judge David Hoffer said Marin will be at least 70 years old before he is eligible for parole. "It is unlikely the defendant will receive parole in his lifetime," the judge said. Before Marin was sentenced, the now-22-year-old victim, referred to as Jane Doe, stood shakily before the court."But for this incident, I was scheduled to go to school in about a month and start my college," she said in a halting voice. "Unfortunately that's been postponed. I would ask for this man to be put away for life if possible so he'll never have a chance to do this to someone else." Her adoptive mother said the young woman had an abusive life before coming under her care and continued to have difficulties afterward, but later earned a general education diploma. She was on track to reach her dream of attending culinary school and opening a restaurant before the attack, the mother said. But now, "I'm not sure at this point if she has the ... ability." "After two years of intensive rehabilitation, she is unable to live on her own," the mother said. Senior Deputy District Attorney Mike Fell asked Hoffer to impose a second life term, to be served consecutively to the first. "I implore this court to give this monster the maximum time available," he said. "This was a horrible and evil and cruel crime by a horrible and evil man." He said the night of the June 14, 2004, attack, the victim, whom he called a "beautiful, beautiful woman," left a campsite where she had encountered some men in the canyon. She was going home when Marin chased her, quickly catching up as she lost her sandals. "She was running for her life," Fell said. Marin used the rock -- the size of a large brick -- to stop her screams and force her compliance, then sexually assaulted her and "strangled her for approximately a minute" and stuffed her mouth with dirt, Fell said. The beating was so severe the lower part of her right ear is missing, Fell said. When found the next day, her body temperature was 84 degrees and starting to shut down. "While he was sleeping in his warm bed, the defendant froze," Fell said. "While he was eating breakfast, the victim tried to breath through mud and dirt he caked in her mouth. While he laid back and drank beer, the victim laid in a hospital bed in a coma." But Deputy Public Defender Tracee May-Brewster painted a picture of events that night placing much of the blame on the victim, who, she said, was not the "innocent girl" the prosecutor portrayed. "She was living a transient, homeless lifestyle, using drugs at every opportunity," May-Brewster said. The woman was wearing a halter top and pajama bottoms so low-slung that a tattoo in her pelvic area was visible, May-Brewster said. As she walked past a group of day laborers, "one calls out, `Hey baby,' and that's the end right there," the lawyer said. "This woman was behaving like a drug-addicted prostitute." She said what happened to the victim is what happens to troubled women who "don't get the help they need." Marin, she said, had only a fifth-grade education, and as a young child in Mexico was tied up to a tree in the yard by his mother and not fed." "He's been a raging alcoholic since age 12," she said, and has "never had a relationship with a woman other than prostitutes." "You have two people raised in such circumstances (that) obviously one is going to be a victim and one is going to be a defendant," she said. "Mr. Marin is a product of his whole life, just as the victim is." She said Marin is compassionate, funny and good humored, accepted Jesus while in jail and would never have done such a thing if he was in his right mind at the time. The judge concurred that "Mr. Marine is not a monster," but added, "He is a person who committed a monstrous act." "The victim in this case is not a prostitute," he said. "Her choices that night were not wise, but in no way did her behavior cause it to happen." Hoffer called it "a brutal, vicious, callous attack," and said "it occurred because the defendant chose to do that. The victim in this case did nothing to invite this ... she was simply going home when this attack happened." May-Brewster told the judge after the sentencing that she has already prepared paperwork for Marin's appeal.