News

Summit Prep: Jury finds student guilty in attempted rape of teacher

A former Summit Preparatory Charter High School student faces life in prison after a jury Wednesday found him guilty of trying to rape a teacher in a school parking lot in Redwood City.

David Velasquez, now 21, was found guilty Wednesday afternoon in San Mateo County Superior Court on four counts including kidnapping with the intent of sexual assault and other sexual assault and weapons charges, according to San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

The jury deliberated for one hour on the fifth day of the trial before returning with a verdict.

According to Wagstaffe, Velasquez showed no reaction when the verdict was read and "impassively sat there."

Velasquez had claimed during the trial that the attempted rape at Summit Prep on one of his teachers on Jan. 23, 2012, was a prank and he didn't intend to physically harm her.

The teacher, referred to as "Ms. Doe," was walking to her car at the school's parking lot around 5:15 p.m. when Velasquez waited nearby with a scarf around his face and no shoes on, according to prosecutors.

Prosecutors allege that during the assault the teacher tried to escape six or seven times, but Velasquez ultimately forced her onto the ground, and held her down and tried to open her legs.

He then fell on top of her with a knife, which he testified was an accident.

Another teacher arrived at that moment and yelled at which point Velasquez got up and fled.

The assault lasted as long as eight minutes.

He was arrested later that night at his home in Redwood City.

Velasquez has never been arrested before. He remains in custody on $1 million bail, Wagstaffe said.

He is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 8 and potentially faces a life sentence with the possibility of parole.

By Sasha Lekach, Bay City News Service

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Summit Prep Supporter
a resident of another community
on Oct 4, 2013 at 12:10 pm

Grateful to the jury for such a quick and just verdict. Our beloved teacher and our entire school community were shaken to the core from this horrific event. There are no winners here, but at least justice was served.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Swift Justice?
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 4, 2013 at 12:33 pm

While I do not try to underplay the terrifying act and the fact that a jury has found him guilty, I have to wonder about swift and justice.

How does this take 21 months to get to trial while the 'accused' (at that time) stays in jail?

How is this worthy of a life sentence? First offender. Victim was traumatized but not injured.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by It's not
a resident of another community
on Oct 4, 2013 at 12:37 pm

Over-sentencing is a significant culprit in California's budget deficit.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by clarifying
a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Oct 4, 2013 at 2:00 pm

I am also appalled at the fact that it took 21 months to go to trial, but I would like to point out that he was not sentenced to life. That is the maximum allowed. His sentencing date is Nov 8th, as stated in the end of the article.

Keep an eye on the Almanac on the 9th and I bet you will be even more shocked at how little his sentence actually is.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 4, 2013 at 5:00 pm

It didn't have to take 21 months to go to trial. The only way that happens is if the defendant waives his right to a speedy trial. If he doesn't they have to try him much sooner. Defendants frequently waive their rights in serious felony situations so their attornies have more time to come up with some kind of evidence that might produce a "reasonable doubt" as to the guilt of their client. This guy could have gone to trial within a month of his arrest had he not waived his rights.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by SteveC
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Oct 4, 2013 at 6:08 pm

SteveC is a registered user.

Menlo Voter is correct. Felony Stupidity does not take 21 months to go to trial. His senior prank was not a prank and the jury found him guilty, that is what is important. I am sure, at his age the judge will not sentence him to life, but then.....


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on Oct 4, 2013 at 6:47 pm

I recall that this case was delayed in court more than once. The decision probably was the defense attorney's, to build the best possible defense. We see now what his defense was, and the jury didn't buy it. As MV said, this could've been adjudicated much faster. Sitting in jail, in lieu of bail, for close to 2 years is no fun. Neither is recovering from a serious sexual assault at knifepoint, & kidnapping. I hope this this survivor has been recovering as well as possible.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 4, 2013 at 6:49 pm

Steve:

you're right, he's unlikely to be sentenced to life. Especially given his age. If he doesn't have a record that's going to weigh into it as well. I'll be surprised if he gets less than five years. He's not going to have a pleasant time in prison no matter how much time he does. Rapists are only one rung above child molesters in the prison pecking order. Looking at his picture I predict he'll be someone's "punk." Or maybe many. In any event it's karma.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Tricia Young
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Oct 4, 2013 at 11:49 pm

Oh yeah! He "faces" life in prison. Guaranteed he will get "Probation" or a tiny sentence based on the "we're over crowded here in the prisons". American citizens WAKE UP!!!!
We are being suckered and duped by the judges who hand down light or no sentences for these creeps. They are back on the streets to offend us again.

Disgusted!!!!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by POGO
a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 5, 2013 at 6:55 am

As clarifying noted above, I think you will shocked at the short length and lack of severity of this convicted felon's sentence.

We tend to over penalize drug offenses and under penalize violent offenses.


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