Two teens accused in Rancho Penasquitos rapes plead not guilty - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Two teens accused in Rancho Penasquitos rapes plead not guilty

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SAN DIEGO (CNS/CBS8) - Two 16-year-old boys, who allegedly raped two teenage girls at knifepoint in a dark Rancho Penasquitos park during the Labor Day weekend, pleaded not guilty Monday to 16 felony charges, including kidnapping, forcible rape and sodomy by force.

Leonel Contreras and William Steven Rodriguez -- charged directly in adult court -- were each ordered held on $5 million bail.

Deputy District Attorney Wendy Patrick said 13 of the 16 charges carry a potential penalty of 25 years to life in prison, making the defendants' possible exposure 325 years to life behind bars if convicted.

The 15- and 16-year-old girls had been attending a family party in the 12600 block of Spindletop Road and walked to a nearby park about 8:15 p.m. on Sept. 3, police said.

The prosecutor told Judge Michael Smyth that the defendants -- both wearing jackets with hoods -- walked past the girls, then came up from behind and immediately ordered them across the street and into a secluded area. The defendants ordered the girls to take off their clothes and took turns sexually assaulting them for 30 to 40 minutes, until family members of one of the girls started calling her name, Patrick alleged.

"This included every kind of rape you could imagine," the prosecutor told the judge.

The defendants threatened the girls before riding off on a bicycle that had been stashed in the bushes, Patrick alleged.

The victims and the defendants didn't know each other, but Rodriguez lived in the neighborhood where the crimes occurred, the prosecutor said.

In addition to the 16 felony charges, the two boys are undocumented immigrants, according to officials. Both will face extradition whether they are found guilty or innocent of the charges, according to defense expert Bill Nimmo. If found guilty, he says, they'll serve out their sentence before going through immigration deportation proceedings.

Now there's a rumble through the neighborhood that the Board Members of the Neighborhood Association may be talking about clearing the bushes off the easement where the alleged rapes took place.

Kathleen Binstock who calls the community home says she supports the removal of the shrubs and other vegetation from the lot, not owned by the Association, if it keeps something like this from happening again.

"I think in honor of those two girls it would really be something good to come out of that," she said.

She says that women in the neighborhood are carrying pepper spray now and the attacks have put them on edge.

A status conference was set for Sept. 19 and a preliminary hearing for Sept. 23.




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