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Man who raped unconscious woman gets life in prison

May 16, 2013|By Veronica Rocha

A 36-year-old man was sentenced Thursday to life in prison for kidnapping a Burbank woman in 2006 and raping her in a Glendale hotel room, officials said.

Edward Nikolayan must also serve six to eight years concurrently for the additional charges of drugging, raping and assaulting the woman.

“He treated her like a piece of meat,” Los Angeles County Deputy Dist. Atty. Brook White said during Nikolayan’s sentencing. “She could have died.”

Nikolayan won’t be eligible for parole for at least seven years and will be required to register as a sex offender.

Nikolayan’s accomplice, Tigran Bedrosian, has already been released from prison and is also registered as a sex offender.

Nikolayan’s attorney, Miguel Rosales, said his client had conceded that the woman never agreed to have sex with him, but disagreed that she was kidnapped because she chose to party with the men.

“Given the circumstances, this was no abduction off the street,” he told the judge as he pleaded for a lesser sentence for the kidnapping charge against Nikolayan.

He added that Nikolayan didn’t have a criminal history, except for a 2005 conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol.

Nikolayan was arrested on suspicion of committing the rape in December 2009 in New York. Months later, Bedrosian was convicted of assault with the intent to commit rape, and for raping an intoxicated woman.

Nikolayan and Bedrosian met the woman at the Elephant Bar in Burbank, where authorities say they drugged her and took her to the Motel Sakura in Glendale, according to U.S. District Court records.

Surveillance video showed Nikolayan and Bedrosian pulling the woman out of the Dodge Magnum in the motel parking lot. They covered her in a comforter, carried her up a staircase and entered the motel room. Footage later showed the pair leaving the room and driving off.

The woman, who was unconscious during the assault, awoke to discover she was naked and alone in the motel. She was in pain and had bruises on her wrists and right arm.

Soon after, the woman left the motel room and flagged down a police patrol car.

A restitution hearing is scheduled for May 23.

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veronica.rocha@latimes.com

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