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Man Gets Term of 63 1/2 Years in Rape and Kidnap of Girl : Courts: Raul Alamar of Thousand Oaks would have received a shorter sentence had he been convicted of murder, a judge says.


A Ventura County judge--sentencing a Thousand Oaks man to 63 1/2 years for kidnap and rape--delivered an unusual attack on state sentencing laws Friday, saying the man would have received a shorter term for killing the victim.

Superior Court Judge Charles R. McGrath noted that Raul Oscar Alamar, 29, would have received a much lighter sentence--probably 25 years to life--had he been convicted of murder instead of multiple counts of kidnap and rape.

"I don't think we ought to be in a position of putting people in Mr. Alamar's position . . . making it sensible for them to kill their victims," McGrath said.

Alamar's attorney, Richard Nahigian, agreed. "It isn't consistent with a murder or homicide case," he said.

Instead of killing her, Alamar drove the victim home and begged forgiveness, a prosecutor said.

In another dramatic moment at the sentencing, Alamar gave a weeping apology for his crime, saying it all resulted from his abuse of cocaine.

Addressing McGrath before receiving his sentence, Alamar said in a cracking voice: "I do understand what I did was wrong. I had no right to take the 14-year-old girl and do what I did.

"I wish this would be an example for the young generation not to use drugs at all. I have an 11-year-old daughter and a 12-year-old boy, and I don't wish for anyone to do this to them."

Alamar and 19-year-old Juan Carlos Coranado of Oxnard were convicted of abducting the girl at gunpoint from Mandalay Beach, where she was spending time with her boyfriend. The suspects drove her to an undisclosed location, forced her to ingest cocaine and raped her before locking her in the trunk of their car.

Coranado was sentenced to 36 years in prison.

Alamar pleaded guilty to seven criminal counts including two counts of forcible rape, two counts of kidnaping and one count of intimidating a minor to ingest a controlled substance.

Despite Alamar's impassioned courtroom statements and a letter of remorse that he submitted to the court, Deputy Dist. Atty. Mark R. Pachowicz urged McGrath to send Alamar away for the maximum possible term: 77 years and four months.

"I don't care how much Mr. Alamar says he sorry, or how much Mr. Alamar says he reads the Bible," Pachowicz said.

Alamar's courtroom apologies, Pachowicz argued, did not make up for "making a child ingest cocaine and putting her in the trunk of a car and making her think of dying every time it hit a bump in the road."

Nahigian said Alamar quickly realized what he had done was wrong and pleaded guilty, saving court time and sparing the victim from testifying.

"The acts which occurred certainly deserve a long prison sentence, there's no doubt about that," Nahigian conceded.

But he contended that Alamar would have never attacked the girl had he not been on a four-day cocaine binge.

"I'm not saying he's a hero, your honor," Nahigian said. Afterward, Nahigian said a sentence of 30 years to 35 years would have been more appropriate.

After the plea, Nahigian said his client's remorse is sincere.

"He asked me, 'How can I undo what's been done? I'm ready to take my punishment.' But the punishment was not consistent" with the penalty for murder, Nahigian said.

Alamar's parents attended the trial. "We feel shocked," said his father, who did not give his name and said the family had no other comment.

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