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Elevator Rapist Sentenced to State Prison
A 20-year-old Santa Barbara man was sentenced Friday to nearly five years in state prison after being convicted of raping an unconscious woman in a city parking lot elevator earlier this year.
In a deal with the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office, Anthony Vasquez pleaded no contest on May 4 to felony rape of an intoxicated person and felony sexual battery by restraint, according to Senior Deputy District Attorney Paula Waldman.
Judge Clifford Anderson sentenced Vasquez to four years and eight months in state prison. He also ordered Vasquez to register as a sex offender, and have no contact with the victim, who is in her early 20s.
Because of the nature of the crime, Vasquez will have to serve his time in state prison rather than in the County Jail, Waldman said.
The attack occurred shortly after midnight on Jan. 18 in an elevator of city Parking Lot 2 in the 900 block of Chapala Street in Santa Barbara, Waldman said.
The victim, who was intoxicated at the time, was unaware she had been attacked until a city employee reviewing surveillance photos — placed there due to recent vandalism — saw what happened and reported the incident to police, Waldman said.
The victim, who was in court for Friday’s sentencing, has no recollection of the attack, Waldman said.
“I feel it was the best possible outcome we could have gotten under these circumstances,” Waldman said, noting the difficulty of getting a conviction at trial based only on the photo evidence. “I can tell you that the victim was satisfied (with the outcome of the case), in the sense that the she wanted him to go down on a rape charge and have a rape conviction, she wanted him to register as a sex offender, and she wanted him to go to state prison.”
Waldman said Sylvia Vasquez, the defendant’s adoptive mother, also was in court Friday for the sentencing.
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