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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary | The Local Review

'Teardrop Rapist' Gets 50 Years to Life for 2 Attacks

August 24, 2000

LOS ANGELES — A 22-year-old Los Angeles man was sentenced Wednesday to 50 years to life in prison for committing two rapes last year, one of a minor.

Matthew Gonzalez, the so-called "teardrop rapist" was also sentenced to a separate term of 18 years on two counts arising from the assaults. His indeterminate sentence of 50 years to life will run consecutively to the 18-year sentence, prosecutors said.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Steven Katz, who prosecuted Gonzalez, said the convicted rapist will be an old man when he is eligible for parole.

"I would guess that he never walks the streets again," Katz said. "I certainly hope he doesn't."

Gonzalez waived his right to a jury trial, and Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Gregory W. Alarcon found him guilty of abducting a 13-year-old girl in Hollywood on June 18, 1999, and raping her in a carport behind an apartment building. He was also convicted of raping an 18-year-old woman behind a building in Koreatown a month later.

His victims were able to identify him by the teardrop tattoos under both his eyes, authorities said.

In court Wednesday, he asked the younger victim and her mother to find it in their hearts to forgive him for an incident he said was fueled by alcohol. And he said his life has been "truly changed" by religion.

The girl's mother said she does not forgive Gonzalez and is only thankful he did not kill her daughter or the other victim.

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