Silver Spring man receives year and a half in jail for rape, second-degree assault -- Gazette.Net


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A Silver Spring man faces a year and a half in jail after entering an Alford plea to rape and pleading guilty to second-degree assault charges Monday.

Ramon Omar Vasquez, 36, of Little Sorrel Way, had been charged in two separate cases — one which took place in November 2012, and one which took place in May 2013.

In an Alford plea, a defendant acknowledges overwhelming evidence of a crime but does not admit guilt.

The sentence came after a plea deal with prosecutors. Montgomery County Circuit Judge Paul Weinstein sentenced Vasquez to 12 years in prison for the crimes, but suspended all but 18 months. Vasquez waived the six months he has spent in jail already since his May arrest.

Assistant State’s Attorney Mary Herdman said in court that investigators had struggled with “evidentiary issues,” and had been unable to obtain DNA evidence and that some of the victims had memory issues because alcohol had been involved.

According to his court records, in the first case, Vasquez had gone to a concert in Hyattsville with two female friends. Vasquez and the women, then aged 24 and 25, drank together in Washington, D.C., then went back to Vasquez’s home in Silver Spring to sleep, police said.

Charging documents allege that one of the women woke to find him touching her inappropriately. She tried to wake up the second woman, but was unable to. She then left the room, police said.

The second woman later woke to find Vasquez sexually assaulting her, police said.

Both victims left the residence and contacted police.

On June 5, police arrested Vasquez again and charged him with attempted second-degree rape for a separate event, which allegedly occurred on May 17.

Andrew Jezic, Vasquez’s attorney, said in court that Vasquez was a hardworking man with a drinking problem. Vasquez ran a firm connecting car crash victims with chiropractors and lawyers — and had frequently worked with Jezic’s firm, Jezic said.

“He knows he can never drink again,” Jezic said.

“I really miss my son,” said Freddy Giron, Vasquez’s father, appealing to Weinstein to give Vasquez a light sentence.

One of the women Vasquez is charged with assaulting spoke in court, described feeling “betrayed.”

“It just changed my life completely,” the woman said, of the assault.

Weinstein also ordered Vasquez to register as a sex offender, and serve five years of supervised probation.

Miriam Rodriguez, Vasquez’s cousin, said she was pleased with the sentencing, but said she still believed her cousin was not guilty.

“I thought it was going to be more than that,” she said, of the sentence.

sjbsmith@gazette.net