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Sterling Burglar, Rapist Convicted

March 13, 2009

BREAKING NEWS: Sterling Burglar, Rapist Convicted;
Loudoun Jury Sentences Man to Life, Plus 53 Years

Late Thursday evening, Commonwealth's Attorney Jim Plowman stood before a Loudoun County Jury and forcefully argued that they should send a message to convicted rapist and armed burglar, Arnold Mancia-Morales by sentencing him to at least one Life term for the August 29, 2008 home invasion attack where Mancia-Morales raped an elderly Sterling woman.

The jury apparently agreed, delivering on Plowman’s request sentencing Mancia-Morales to Life in prison for the Rape, 30 years for the armed burglary, 22 years for the abduction and 1 year for assault.

Shortly after midnight on August 29, 2008, Mancia-Morales entered the Sterling Park home, crashing through a glass door and wielding a knife.  Awoken from her sleep, the victim went to investigate the noise when she was met by Mancia-Morales, who immediately began his brutal attack.
Fleeing from the scene, Mancia-Morales discarded his weapon and the victim’s car keys which were discovered days later by a neighbor in their back yard.  Loudoun Sheriff’s Investigators followed numerous leads in the weeks that followed until they developed Mancia-Morales as a suspect.

In a 4 day jury trial, Plowman constructed a case that included DNA, photographs, video taped interrogations and expert testimony from a Forensic Biologist and a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner.  "The expert testimony from the scientific and medical professionals was extremely powerful and was a significant aide to helping the jury understand the severity of this case," stated Plowman.

"I am extremely pleased with the jury's service, they sacrificed a lot of time and expended a fair amount of emotional energy listening to evidence that was, at times, extremely difficult to withstand," Plowman said.

During the sentencing phase of the proceedings, Plowman presented additional evidence in the form of five prior convictions.  The defendant was convicted in 2006 of Felony Statutory Burglary in Clarke County, Virginia.  He was further convicted in Loudoun County of two assaults, destruction of property, and hindering a law enforcement officer in 2007 and 2008, all misdemeanors.  "His crimes just kept escalating," Plowman argued to the Jury.  "The Court system’s efforts at redirecting his behavior apparently didn’t work."
Commonwealth attorney Jim Plowman told reporters just a short time ago:
"This is an atrocious case and the victim continues to struggle to deal with this," Plowman stated.  "Words can’t describe the emotional scars that result.  I was so impressed with her bravery.  She told me ‘I just don’t want this to happen to anyone else,’ and that’s where she got her strength," Plowman continued.  "In my book, she’s a hero.  Hopefully this verdict brings a sense of closure and will serve to keep a predator off the streets."
Mancia-Morales, originally from Honduras, is in the United States illegally and a federal immigration detainer has been placed on him should he ever be released from prison.



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