A man convicted of rape in the Shenandoah Valley will spend the rest of his life behind bars for what the prosecution called a "heinous and vile" case.
Rosendo Ernesto Juarez was sentenced Thursday afternoon in Augusta County Circuit Court. The defense argued for a mistrial, challenged the evidence and even claimed that he was unfairly targeted by the jury because he is Hispanic. But despite all that, the judge stuck with the jury in handing down a life sentence.
The 37-year-old Weyers Cave man addressed the court and gave a litany of reasons why he should not go to prison for the rest of his life. Even though he was found guilty this summer of raping a 13-year-old girl in her bedroom, Juarez did not apologize. In a letter, he said he was innocent - but also that people deserve second chances.
The commonwealth's attorney pointed out that the abuse took place on at least three occasions, and a prior assault and battery charge.
Juarez's wife also testified and said the case has really taken a toll on her and their children. Juarez still has time to appeal the decision.