Juan Humberto Avila, Linked to Cold-Case Rape of Teen, Faces 355 Years if Convicted on All Counts

Juan Humberto Avila

may have thought he got away with it--if he is indeed guilty of the "it":

raping a 16-year-old girl who was walking home from In-and-Out Burger in Santa Ana the afternoon of Jan. 21, 2008.

A DNA match was made between evidence collected from the girl who was raped and Avila from a previous weapons possession case in Arizona. The 33-year-old Santa Ana resident is now looking at a maximum sentence of 355 years to life in state prison if convicted of all the charges against him. An Orange County District Attorney's Office statement on Avila's arraignment this afternoon in Santa Ana follows after the jump . . .

December 6, 2010

Courtesy of Santa Ana Police Department
Juan Humberto Avila

SANTA ANA-A man was charged today for the cold case rape of a 16-year-old girl who was walking home from In-and-Out Burger in Santa Ana. Juan Humberto Avila, 33, Santa Ana, is charged with one felony count of sexual penetration by foreign object by force and two felony counts each of forcible rape, sodomy by force, and forcible oral copulation with sentencing enhancement allegations for inflicting great bodily injury and kidnapping. Avila has a prior strike from a 1997 conviction for participating in a criminal street gang. He faces a maximum sentence of 355 years to life in state prison if convicted. The People will be requesting Avila be held on $2 million bail at his arraignment this afternoon, Monday, Dec. 6, 2010, in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana.

At approximately 1:30 a.m. on Jan. 21, 2008, 16-year-old Jane Doe was walking home after meeting friends at an In-and-Out Burger located in Santa Ana. The defendant is accused of hiding behind a sign and jumping out at the victim, who began screaming. Avila is accused of punching Jane Doe several times and dragging her across the street while threatening to stab her to death if she screamed.

Avila is accused of forcing Jane Doe behind large storage containers at the rear of a parking lot. He is accused of threatening the victim that he would stab her if she did not take off her pants. The defendant is accused of repeatedly raping and sodomizing Jane Doe and forcing her to orally copulate him. Avila is accused of threatening the victim's life several times throughout the sexual assault. After the attack, the defendant is accused of stealing Jane Doe's bank card, ordering her to stay on the ground and count to 100, and fleeing the scene.

Jane Doe ran home and reported the assault to the Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD). DNA was recovered from the victim during a subsequent medical rape examination. SAPD investigated the case but it went cold. Avila was linked to the rape following a DNA match from a previous federal weapons possession conviction in Arizona. He was arrested Thursday, Dec. 2, 2010. 

Deputy District Attorney Keith Burke of the Sexual Assault Unit is prosecuting this case.

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