Crime

Ripon man convicted in '06 Manteca rape

Ricardo Herrera Rangel
Ricardo Herrera Rangel Stanislaus County Jail

A 32-year-old Ripon man who authorities say dragged a woman into a Manteca alley just before Christmas in 2006 was convicted of rape Monday in a San Joaquin County courtroom.

Ricardo Herrera Rangel faces a sentence of 25 years to life, said Deputy District Attorney Claire Van Vuren, in connection with the early morning attack outside the Social Security office on South Main Street.

His family declined to comment Monday night.

This type of rape case is not common, Van Vuren said.

"Usually in rape cases people know each other in some way," she said.

Rangel was convicted on five charges: kidnapping with the intent to commit rape; forcible rape; forcible oral copulation; forcible sexual penetration; and assault with the intent to commit rape. He was found not guilty of attempted robbery.

Rangel will be sentenced Nov. 3 at 8:30 a.m.

A family member of the woman Rangel raped said his conviction was "a great relief." The Bee does not print the names of rape victims and is not naming the woman's relative to protect the victim's anonymity.

"She said that she was just really, really glad this was over," the relative said. "She was so scared the guy was going to get away."

The woman was 19 when Rangel ran up to her as she walked to work. He grabbed her around the neck, punched her in the face, pulled her into an alleyway and raped her. Police arrested him soon after the attack, which lasted about 20 minutes.

Van Vuren said the prosecution presented DNA evidence that showed Rangel was the rapist. The victim's testimony also was an important part of the conviction, she said.

"She was very emotional while she testified," said Van Vuren.

The woman's relative said she hoped people would get closure from reading about the case's outcome.

"I felt it was necessary for women to know that because of this person's strength, she went forward and testified. She wants people to know that she didn't just do it for herself. She did it for every woman out there," the relative said. "The only way to get these people off the street is to have the courage to go forward."

Bee staff writer Emilie Raguso can be reached at eraguso@modbee.com or 578-2235.

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