Jurors watch apparent confession tape in Rancho Penasquitos rape trial
William Rodriguez, Leonel Contreras on trlal
Last Updated: 411 days ago
SAN DIEGO - Jurors got a look at the apparent videotaped confession in the trial of two teenage boys accused of raping two teenage girls in a Rancho Penasquitos park.
10News was the only media in court to see the video as one of the accused teens described exactly why he did it.
The police interview was conducted a few days after the assaults and was done in Spanish. Inside the interview room, then 16-year-old William Rodriguez was face-to-face with investigators.
After Rodriguez is brought in, he denies any involvement. But when detectives tell him they have forensic evidence, he quickly admits taking part in the assault.
Rodriguez and his friend Leonel Contreras are on trial for the brutal rapes of a 15-year-old and 16-year-old girl near a trail in a Rancho Penasquitos park in September 2011.
Rodriguez blamed it on marijuana.
"I don't know," he said during the police interview. "Honestly, I was really high that day. I had smoked marijuana all day ... like they say, [expletive] happens, you know. At that moment, it crossed our minds ... you know, the body is controlled by the memory and the body is weak when it sees flesh," said Rodriguez.
In detailed fashion, Rodriguez described the assault. He says his friend had the knife. In the video, he says he saw the girls – who were strangers – and ordered them to take off their clothes. He said they assaulted the girls and switched partners before taking off when they thought they heard voices.
At one point, the investigator asks him what he feels his punishment should be.
"I know people want for me to die, but that's not right, you know ... do what you have to do," said Rodriguez during the interview. "I just ask you not to bother my father because I've already given him enough trouble."
As the interview is winding down, there is one more question: does he feel bad and what would he say to the two girls?
The answer was an apology laced with excuses.
"I'm sorry because I didn't even think about what I was going to do," said Rodriguez. "I was smoking. I swear to God. I was smoking a lot ... I swear I didn't want to do that but when it all started, I felt there was no other way."
The defense said Rodriguez was young, impressionable and was tricked into confessing.
Closing statements begin Wednesday morning. It will then head to the jury.
Meanwhile, Contreras is being tried with a separate jury. Testimony in his case resumes Wednesday.
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