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Teens Charged in Rancho Penasquitos Park Rape Case To Be Sentenced Thursday

Leonel Contreras, 18, and William Steven Rodriguez, 17, were convicted by separate juries last year.

Two teenagers who kidnapped and sexually assaulted two girls in a dark Rancho Penasquitos park are scheduled to be sentenced Thursday in a downtown San Diego courtroom.

Leonel Contreras, 18, and William Steven Rodriguez, 17, were convicted by separate juries last year.

Rodriguez was found guilty of 10 of 21 charges, including forcible oral copulation and forcible sodomy, in connection with the Sept. 3, 2011, attack. Contreras was convicted on 21 counts, including conspiracy, rape and kidnapping.

In her closing argument, Patrick said the defendants had a plan to assault the girls and Contreras told Rodriguez that he had a knife.

But Rodriguez's attorney, Dana Feuling, said there was no conspiracy between the defendants and that her client acted on "impulse." She said Rodriguez cooperated after his arrest and admitted what he did.

Contreras' attorney, Michael Begovich, told the jury that police coerced a false confession from his client and prosecutors lacked evidence tying the defendant to the crime.

Patrick told jurors that the victims, then 15 and 16 years old, were friends who went to a family party in the 12600 block of Spindletop Road.

The prosecutor said Rodriguez and Contreras were out smoking marijuana when they spotted the two girls as they took a nighttime walk along a greenbelt running behind a residential neighborhood.

The boys accosted them, with Contreras holding a knife, and forced them to a more secluded area, using threats to make them stay quiet, she said.

According to the prosecutor, the defendants subjected them to "a brutal 30- to 40-minute series of sexual assaults that included every imaginable kind of rape."

Patrick said graffiti found in the open space resulted in a tip that led investigators to Rodriguez, who told police what happened. Police then tracked down Contreras.

—City News Service

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