(Woodland, CA) - April 21, 2017 - Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig announced that today, a Yolo County jury convicted 46-year-old Mario Luis Oropeza, of Red Bluff of three domestic violence crimes. The jury convicted him of Infliction of Corporal Injury on a person with whom he had a dating relationship, False Imprisonment with Force or Violence, and Criminal Threats.
The jury heard evidence that On March 21, 2016 the defendant was dating a woman from Yolo County when he became obsessed with the need to go through her phone and find information about other males she may have previously dated. He woke her up multiple times in the middle of the night strangling and assaulting her in order to make her unlock her cell phone. When she tried to get away he pinned her down with a forearm across her neck and told her if she tried to get away again he would kill her. Despite being terrified she stayed and prayed to make it through the night. In the morning she was able to take him to the bus station and drop him off. She contacted the police after work and reported the crime.
The Court allowed the prosecution to introduce evidence of two prior victims who had previously dated and been assaulted by the defendant, one in 2009 and another in 2013. Both testified that he had been obsessed with other men in their lives, he had strangled both, and he had threatened both of them as well.
The defendant testified and denied ever having laid hands on any of the three women and implied they were just upset because he broke up with them. The jury rejected his testimony and found him guilty of three domestic violence charges. The jury deadlocked 6-6 on second false imprisonment charge and the judge declared a mistrial on this count.
Deputy District Attorney Martha Holzapfel prosecuted the case. “Taking a stand against domestic violence and shining a light on what happens behind closed doors is the only way to stop it,” said Holzapfel. “Every victim of domestic violence is someone’s daughter, sister, mother or friend and they deserve to be safe in their homes.”
District Attorney Jeff Reisig spoke about the courage of the victims. “These three victims looked their abuser in the eye and told the truth about horrible times in their personal lives and did so to protect the next woman from him.”
The Honorable Paul Richardson presided over the trial. Judge Richardson remanded Oropeza to jail after the trial. Judge Richardson is scheduled to sentence Oropeza on May 19, 2017. Oropeza is facing five years and four months in state prison.