Orlando FL - A jury today convicted a homeless immigrant of dragging a 10-year-old girl into the woods, raping her and trying to murder her. Antonio Rosales, 41, an undocumented worker from Guatemala, returned to the courtroom to hear the verdict.
He had refused to attend closing arguments earlier in the day following an outburst yesterday when he smashed a courtroom computer and toppled a defense table.
The six-member jury deliberated two hours before reaching its verdict.
Rosales faces a mandatory life prison sentence.
The girl, now 15, told jurors Tuesday that a Hispanic man with a moustache grabbed her by the ponytail and dragged her into the woods about dusk Nov. 1, 2003, in Casselberry as she rode her brother's scooter to the grocery store.
The man choked her, she said, until she blacked out. When she regained consciousness, she said, her pants had been pulled down and she was covered in fire ant bites.
Rosales confessed the week after the attack, telling detectives he took the girl into the woods and sexually abused her.
A state DNA expert testified that he found Rosales' DNA on the girl's breast.
Rosales did not testify.
Defense attorney Tim Caudill today told jurors there was scant physical evidence the girl was sexually abused.
He also pointed out that the girl did not identify his client as her attacker. She only gave a general description.
Prosecutors, he said, "have not proven the crimes my client is charged with."
Rosales also is wanted in Tucson, Ariz. in the rape and strangulation of his 74-year-old landlady, who was found dead in the home they shared in 2001.
He's to be extradited to Arizona once his case in Sanford is concluded.
He's already served time in a Guatemalan prison in the death of a woman there, psychiatrist Jeffrey Danziger testified today.
Danziger interviewed Rosales again yesterday to determine whether the defendant is competent to stand trial.
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