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York City man gets prison time for rape of mentally disabled woman
A mentally disabled woman who was raped by a York City man more than two years ago only had one request for the judge sentencing him.
“I hope he goes to jail for a really long time,” she said.
Presiding Judge Craig T. Trebilcock sentenced Santos Diaz, 51, to 18 to 36 years in state prison. The judge handed down the sentencing during Diaz’s hearing Monday, Dec. 18.
During a trial in September, Diaz, 51, was found guilty of repeatedly raping the woman over a period of months. He was convicted of all the charges against him — rape of a mentally disabled person, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with someone who has a mental disability and sexual assault.
On Monday, Trebilcock characterized Diaz’s behavior as one that “shakes the conscience.”
Rape: During Monday’s hearing, deputy prosecutor Teresa Jauregui said the victim testified during trial that Diaz had forced the victim to engage in sexual acts and that Diaz had her “under his control.”
Police have said the acts happened between November 2014 and April 2015. Jauregui said it’s unclear how long the abuse would have continued had someone not witnessed the acts and reported them.
York City Police filed charges in early September 2015, and Diaz was captured by the U.S. Marshals Service in early October 2015, when he fled to New Jersey.
Denial: Throughout the hearing, Diaz had his head down and he kept shaking his head. When given a chance to make a statement, Diaz, through an interpreter, began denying the crime he had been found guilty of.
He said he would never hurt anybody.
But Trebilcock was quick to point out that Diaz pleaded guilty to aggravated assault in 2013. He said what Diaz was doing was improper.
“Why don’t you quit digging a hole for yourself?” he said.
Trebilcock noted that the abuse started shortly after Diaz got out of prison for the 2013 case.
The judge said that Diaz has no “self-realization,” and he wasn't helping himself by continuously lying. He must register as a sex offender and also was ordered not to have contact with the witnesses or victim.
Joshua Neiderhiser, Diaz's public defender, said during the hearing that Diaz has maintained his innocence throughout all the proceedings.
Case: Trebilcock also said Diaz thought people would not believe the victim's statements because of her condition. Police have said she functions on the level of a 6-year-old.
Trebilcock said she was believed and called her "strong," for testifying during Diaz's trial.
Police have said Diaz had vaginal and anal sex with her as well as oral sex and that she lost her virginity to him.
He also took photos of her naked and forced her to watch pornographic movies, documents state.
Diaz left a note for his wife and fled the state after being interviewed by the lead investigator in the case, Detective Kyle Hower, according to charging documents.
Neiderhiser declined comment following the hearing. He did say Diaz would like to appeal the decision.
— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.