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Rapist faces life in prison

Arriano was convicted on 27 of 29 counts

Posted: March 2, 2009 11:38 p.m.
Updated: March 3, 2009 4:59 a.m.
 
A judge will sentence Adrian Arriano Wednesday for 27 felonies stemming from a series of rapes and break-ins that terrorized Canyon Country residents in 2007.

Arriano, a twice-deported illegal alien, faces life in prison, said Julia Knox, Los Angeles County deputy public defender.

On Feb. 3, a jury found Arriano guilty of raping two Canyon Country women at knife point and breaking into two other women's homes between January and September 2007.

Arriano eluded Santa Clarita Valley sheriff's deputies until witness Erin O'Brien came forward with a description in June 2007. O'Brien was attacked but managed to fight off her attacker.

Arriano then switched his attacks from Canyon Country to Newhall. Deputies arrested Arriano immediately after he broke into a Newhall woman's apartment on Sept. 10, 2007.

The jury convicted Arriano on 27 of 29 felony counts: 10 counts of forcible rape; five counts of sexual penetration by a foreign object; three counts of sodomy; three counts of forced oral copulation; four counts of burglary; one count of false imprisonment by violence; and one count of assault to commit a felony during a burglary.

During the trial, Knox tried to place doubt in the minds of the jury about the DNA evidence collected by the Los Angeles County sheriff's scientific services division.

Knox alleged that a third genetic fingerprint was present in the DNA evidence, a point the DNA expert witness conceded to.

Lori Schumann, senior criminalist, said there was a "possibility" that a third genetic fingerprint present at the crime scene could point to another person.

Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Angela Jordan restored the witness' credibility on cross-examination.

The third genetic marker was an anomaly common in genetic testing and did not invalidate the testing that pointed to Arriano as the culprit, Schumann said.

Knox poked enough holes in the prosecution's case to garner acquittals on two of the 29 charges, the most damaging being the attempted murder charge.

"Based on the information, no one on the jury felt the attempted murder charge was proven," the foreman said.

"My feeling during closing testimony was that (the jury) was very attentive and listened and that they took each count separately," Knox said.

When and if Arriano finishes serving state time in California, he faces a felony deportation hearing, said Virginia Kice, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman.

Arriano faces up to 20 additional years for felony reentry, Kice said.

Sentencing for Arriano begins in San Fernando Superior Court Department H at 8:30 a.m.

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