Sexual assault sentence given out
Edwin Carlevato glanced from his hand restraints to Judge Jerald Lasarow while the judge handed down a sentence of 101 years to life in state prison stemming from six felony convictions.
Carlevato who maintained his innocence to the end, was found guilty of attacks on two women that occurred in 1999. He was convicted on five counts of rape and kidnap at gunpoint of a 51-year-old woman, and one count of forcing a 34-year-old woman to orally copulate him. During the sentencing Carlevato’s gaze moved about the courtroom only lingering briefly on Lasarow.
Each of Carlevato’s convictions carried an extra 10 years for the use of a firearm and three years for the use of a knife in the assaults. Prosecutors said Carlevato forced each of the victims into his car at gunpoint as they were walking alone at night near U.S. Highway 50 and Pioneer Trail. He drove them to secluded areas where the assaults occurred.
Lasarow chastised a fidgeting Carlevato as the sentence was handed down.
“(The victims) have been sentenced to life in prison,” Lasarow said. “They had no choice in this. These people do not forget what they have been through. These crimes are horrendous.”
El Dorado County Deputy District Attorney Peter O’Hara felt Lasarow’s ruling was just, given the brutal nature of the crimes.
“I think the judge acted appropriately and made a strong sentence and a strong statement,” O’Hara said.
Court-appointed defense attorney Donald Heape found few conciliatory words for his client in the wake of the sentencing.
“I’ve known from the outset it is a difficult case,” Heape said. “The judge has seen fit to punish very harshly. These are some of the most hated crimes one can deal with in the court. I did what I could to give my client a fair defense.”
One of the victims, who chose not to be identified, expressed satisfaction with Lasarow’s ruling, though clearly sorting painful emotions. She urged other victims of sexual assault to come forward so less women have to suffer the same ordeal.
“I am just grateful that I was the last victim,” the woman said. “I hope that other rape victims will be able to come forward. So many (rapes) go unreported.”
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