Marine gets life in prison for rape, abduction

UPDATE 5:31 p.m., Oct. 15: An Arlington jury delivered a guilty verdict in the rape case involving a local Marine.

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After the court heard from the victims in the sentencing phase of the trial, Jorge Torrez was sentenced to life in prison.

Torrez looked straight ahead, never making eye contact with the three women who took the stand to describe how he had attacked them.

One woman, a college student who was abducted, tied up, raped, and left in a snow bank after being choked unconscious said, "I still have flashbacks, I can't sleep. I'm a rape victim, a survivor of strangulation. He has changed me."

After finding Torrez guilty on more than a dozen charges in connection with February's violent crime spree, the jury of six men and six women considered how to sentence him.

Prosecutor Richard Trodden displayed the gun, stun gun and tape used in the crimes.

He described how Torrez had planned the attacks and how he had armed himself.

Trodden called Torrez a predator, who stalked women on the streets of Arlington then committed "unspeakable crimes."

But crimes where all the victims found their voice to urge the jury to punish Torrez with life in prison.

Torrez's family and fellow Marines were visably upset as they walked out the Arlington County Courtroom.

UPDATE 12:29 p.m., Oct. 15: The jury found Jorge Torrez guilty of 14 of 17 charges in connection with rape and abduction of a woman in March. The sentencing phase is currently underway.

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An Arlington jury deliberated for about four hours this afternoon in a rape case charging a U.S. Marine with violent, gunpoint crimes against three women.

The jury will resume deliberation Friday morning at 9 a.m. They sent the judge a question about the definition of "display" referring to one of the 17 charges, displaying a handgun.

Jorge Torrez had been an active duty Marine stationed at Fort Meyer last February when he was arrested for a string of violent gunpoint crimes against women in Arlington.

And the DNA from this case allegedly connects him to the murders of two young girls in Illinois. He has not been charged in those cases.

In the Arlington trial, Torrez could receive up to 130 years in prison.

The case to convict Torrez, 21, centered on the testimony of the women he's accused of attacking.

Alternate juror Charle Hitlzelberger says when one victim, a 23-year-old University of Maryland student, described her abduction and rape, then being dumped in a snowbank miles from home, he found it extremely compelling.

"She was very convincing," Hitlzelberger said. "I believed everything happened to her as she described it. She had a lot of detail in there that if you didn't know, you wouldn't know it happened like that."

"I really admire them, because you know it takes a lot of courage for them to actually confront, to be with the person that actually did something to them," said Lorena Soriano, an Arlington resident.

Torrez had family and friends in the courtroom, including fellow Marines.

Hitzelberger says it makes this case even more tragic that someone sworn to protect and defend now faces accusations of brutal crimes against women and children.

"It was a really sad case," he said. "I feel bad for the victim, I feel bad for the defendant's family, I feel bad for the defendant. There's no winners here."

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