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Defense concedes rape charges in Arriano case

Jury hears closing arguments, will resume deliberation Monday

Posted: January 30, 2009 9:49 p.m.
Updated: January 31, 2009 4:56 a.m.

During her closing arguments Friday, the defense attorney for Adrian Arriano's conceded he committed two rapes but asked the jury to challenge the attempted murder charge.

"The prosecution bears the burden in 29 independent evaluations and decisions," Julia Knox said in San Fernando Superior Court, hoping her client would get a lighter sentence. "It may be divided: 27 guilty and two not guilty."

She was referring to charges for attempted murder and another for burglary with intent to commit sexual assault.

But Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Angela Jordan asked the jury for justice.

"This case is about four women," Jordan said. She read off the names of the women allegedly victimized by Arriano. Jordan told the jury about Addie T., the alias given to the first woman he allegedly raped Jan. 8, 2007.

Arriano allegedly watched and waited outside Addie T.'s apartment. Addie T. fell asleep on her couch and Arriano allegedly entered the apartment, grabbed a knife from the kitchen and fondled the victim until she awoke, Jordan said.

Addie T. put up a fight, but eventually she gave in to Arriano, Jordan said.

"‘I give up. Do what you want, but don't kill me,'" Knox told the jury, as she recounted the attack on Addie T.

Arriano allegedly held the knife to Addie T.'s neck and allegedly raped her five times on the couch and multiple times on her bed, Jordan said.

"Rape comes from the Latin word rapere, which means to seize. What's taken from a rape cannot be replaced," Jordan said.

Arriano allegedly threw Addie T. into a closet after his sexual assault, Jordan said.

Jordan often referred to a Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's deputies video of Arriano's interrogation, during which he confessed to some of the crimes.

Jordan told the jury about Sheri C., the alias for the second woman he allegedly raped March 29, 2007.

"He admits to being at Sheri C.'s house at 3 a.m. He admits he told her ‘shut up or I'll kill you,'" Jordan told the jury. Sheri C. went into survival mode during the rape and didn't resist to protect her daughters who were sleeping in the next room, she said.

Jordan told the jury about two women Arriano didn't rape, but allegedly victimized.

The first woman alleges Arriano broke into her home and stole her purse. Sheriff's deputies arrested Arriano shortly after the Sept. 10, 2007, break-in, Jordan said.

The second woman alleges Arriano broke into her home intent on raping her June 26, 2007. If it weren't for her scream that set off barking dogs, Arriano would have raped her, Jordan said.

After Jordan's statements, Knox questioned the memories and the credibility of several witnesses.

"Keep in mind that Addie T. smoked marijuana that night," she said. "That doesn't make her a bad person, but it impaired her ability to remember."

Knox also attacked O'Brien's testimony. O'Brien picked out what she thought was Arriano in a lineup photo labeled defense exhibit G.

Sheriff's detective John Gill testified that the person O'Brien picked out in the lineup was not Arriano. Gill also testified O'Brien failed to identify Arriano when he was present in another photo lineup.

"You do justice when you bring back guilty verdicts on what the prosecution proved beyond a reasonable doubt," she said.

The jury deliberated until 4:15 p.m. Friday before Judge Barbara Scheper sent the jurors home for the weekend.

The judge ordered the jury to resume deliberations at 8:30 a.m. Monday.

The D.A. charged Arriano with 29 felony counts stemming from the two 2007 knife-point sexual assaults and two separate alleged 2007 break-ins. The charges include: one count of attempted murder; 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; one count of residential robbery; and one count of assault to commit a felony during a burglary.


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