GRAHAM — Juan Antonio Perez was sentenced in Alamance County Superior Court to six years, six months to 13 years in prison after ending his trial on rape and kidnapping charges with a plea bargain Thursday, Nov. 8.

Perez, 32, pleaded guilty to second-degree forcible rape, second-degree sex offense, second-degree kidnapping, assault on a female, obstruction of justice and intimidating a witness. The charges were classified as domestic. Perez admitted in writing to hitting the victim in the face with a set of keys May 29, 2016, throwing her to the floor and applying force to her that “resulted in strangulation and medical attention.” On the other charges, Perez took an Alford plea in which he recognized it was in his best interest to plead guilty, but did not admit guilt.

He was credited with 891 days spend in jail awaiting trial.

On the stand, the victim testified that she went to the hospital after the strangulation, and then they went home together after she was treated. When they got there, she testified, he forced her to get into bed and to have sex for five hours, and then he had her stand in the shower with her hands against the wall while he washed her.

She reported the incidents the next day. Perez was jailed, but they stayed in touch by phone. Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Olivier played recordings of calls Perez made to the victim from jail, including calls in which she agreed with him that he hadn’t raped her.

“I knew that’s what he needed me to say over the phone,” the victim testified.

Perez also coached her through writing a letter recanting her accusations, which she did, and made plans for them to disappear together when he got out.

He did not get out, and the victim went forward with the charges and cooperated with the prosecution.

The recordings included references to a previous marriage and previous convictions for domestic violence and false imprisonment in Ohio and Florida. Defense attorney Alex Dawson called that prejudicial asked for a mistrial, but that was denied.

 

Reporter Isaac Groves can be reached at igroves@thetimesnews.com or 336-506-3045. Follow him on Twitter at @tnigroves.