A transient who assaulted and tried to rape a 71-year-old woman while she knelt praying in a Glendale church in 1993 has been sentenced to 11 years in state prison, a prosecutor said.
Filiberto Maldonado, 35, pleaded guilty in Pasadena Superior Court this week to felony charges of kidnaping for the purpose of rape, assault with intent to commit rape, and inflicting great bodily injury, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Robert Nishikawa. The sentence imposed is the maximum allowed by law, he said.
At about 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 3, 1993, the victim, a Glendale woman, who is now 73, was alone praying inside the sanctuary of Incarnation Roman Catholic Church, 1001 N. Brand Blvd., when Maldonado approached her from behind and tapped her on the shoulder.
When the woman turned around, Maldonado grabbed her and dragged her, kicking and screaming, into a restroom at the rear of the church, where he tried to rape her.
She was rescued by a parish priest who heard her screams, and Maldonado was arrested several blocks from the church about 20 minutes after the attack was reported.
The woman suffered a broken rib, bruises and cuts in the incident, Nishikawa said.
"This has been a terrible ordeal for her, first having to suffer this attack and then having the trial hanging over her head for so long. She was ready and willing to testify if needed, but fortunately it wasn't necessary," Nishikawa said.
Maldonado originally pleaded not guilty to the charges in August, 1993, but in June, 1994, a special court trial was held to determine whether he was mentally fit to stand trial. He was then committed to Patton State Hospital, a mental institution in San Bernardino County.
In March of this year, his doctors at the hospital declared him sufficiently rehabilitated to stand trial.
The attack prompted leaders of the church to restrict public access to the sanctuary during weekdays.