A Santa Maria man received a lengthy state prison sentence Thursday after pleading guilty to raping a woman at knifepoint in 2020.

Victorino Ramirez, 42, pleaded no contest in August to forcible rape and kidnapping, and an enhancement for using a deadly weapon during the sexual assault, according to court records.

Judge Stephen Foley sentenced Ramirez to 23 years in prison at a Superior Court hearing Thursday.  

The District Attorney’s Office said in a statement Friday that Ramirez followed the victim while she was on a walk and “attacked her at knifepoint” on July 24, 2020, on West Newlove Drive in Santa Maria.

The woman reported the attack to police, and investigators entered biological evidence from her body into a DNA database.  

Ramirez’ DNA profile was in the database because of a prior conviction for felony vehicle burglary, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

“Detectives obtained a new DNA sample from the defendant in 2021, and confirmed that the defendant’s DNA profile matched the biological evidence on Jane Doe’s body,” the District Attorney’s Office said.  

The criminal case was filed in August 2022. It was prosecuted by Supervising Deputy District Attorney Lara Clinton, and Ramirez was represented by defense attorney William Davis.

District Attorney John Savrnoch said, “The defendant could not have been held accountable for this vicious crime without the survivor’s outstanding bravery and strength.”