Gwinnett judge hears gruesome details of alleged break-in, rape


A Gwinnett County courtroom was crowded with three teenage defendants Friday, all facing similar charges for allegedly breaking into a woman’s Norcross apartment in May and raping her in front of her 4-year-old son.

The teens — 17-year-old Francisco Palencia, 19-year-old Josue Ramirez and 18-year-old Angela Garcia — appeared in front of Judge Robert Walker for a preliminary hearing, during which Walker heard evidence and decided that there was probable cause to proceed with the charges.

A fourth 15-year-old girl was also arrested and is being charged as an adult, but The Atlanta Journal-Constitution does not generally identify juveniles charged with a crime. She was not in court Friday, since she waived her right to a preliminary hearing.

Ramirez, who used a Spanish translator in court, broke down in tears as the hearing began and the prosecuting attorney read the charges: rape, aggravated sodomy, aggravated battery, kidnapping, home invasion and cruelty to children.

RELATED: Cops: Teen intruders use stun guns, rape Gwinnett mom in front of son

Cops: Teen 'lookout' marks 4th arrest in brutal Gwinnett rape case

Police believe Ramirez, Palencia, Garcia and the 15-year-old broke into the victim’s apartment in the early morning hours of May 12, and began stealing items. When the woman got home from work at around 3 a.m., Ramirez and Palencia were still inside, Gwinnett County Police Detective A. R. Scott testified Friday. The woman had her two children with her — one was 4 years old, the other 7 months old.

“She noticed that the kitchen light was on, and all of a sudden she was attacked by who she described as two masked men wearing all black,” Scott said. “Her kids were dropped to the floor, she was forced into the kitchen, where boiling water was thrown on her left shoulder.”

Then, Scott said, the woman was tased by a stun gun and she ran to her bedroom, where one of the assailants told her to perform oral sex on him.

“The assailant was carrying the stun gun, had it on the whole time,” Scott said. “So in fearing for her life she felt she needed to do it in case she was going to get hurt, or her kids were going to get hurt if she didn’t.”

Then, the same person raped her, after asking if she had AIDS, Scott said.

According to the initial police report, the woman’s 4-year-old son was in the room as she was raped, which is the reason for the child abuse charges.

The four suspects then fled the scene in a white Toyota van, Scott said. Police believe the two girls acted as “lookouts” who notified Ramirez and Palencia when the woman was arriving home, and then sat in the van during the alleged attack.

The suspects were identified and arrested weeks later, after police matched a fingerprint on a pot in the apartment to Ramirez, Scott said.

Ramirez initially denied involvement in the attack, but later told police “everything that happened,” Scott said.

Ramirez told police that he stood at the bedroom doorway while Palencia attacked and raped the woman. Palencia, however, said he hid in the closet while Ramirez raped her.

“I think it’s early; we still need to see how things shake out,” Ramirez’s attorney Ramon Alvarado told the AJC after the hearing.

All four suspects were charged because under Georgia law, “every person concerned in the commission of a crime is a party thereto and may be charged with and convicted of commission of the crime.”

Scott said the suspects stole jewelry, a television, a credit card and the victim’s gray and white husky puppy from the apartment. The dog has not yet been found.

Like Gwinnett County News on Facebook | Follow us on Twitter and Instagram

In other news:



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Wangari Maathai: Africa’s first woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize
Wangari Maathai: Africa’s first woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize

Born in Nyeri, Kenya in 1940, Wangari Maathai — born Wangari Muta — loved playing by the stream near her home, where she would go daily to fetch water. The sight of frog eggs floating in the stream captured her imagination, with her young mind believing she could grab the “beads” and make a beautiful necklace. Years later, the...
Fulton police seek help identifying homicide suspect
Fulton police seek help identifying homicide suspect

Fulton County Police are currently investigating a homicide committed Tuesday afternoon. A man was killed about 4:18 p.m. at the Country Squire apartments, police spokesman Patrena Smith said. “The suspect in this case was seen running from the scene He is described as about 6-foot-1 to 2 and between 170 and 180 pounds.  “He is considered...
‘Super-potent’ hash, marijuana seized in North Georgia bust
‘Super-potent’ hash, marijuana seized in North Georgia bust

A 35-year-old Jackson County man was arrested after authorities discovered a cache of drugs Monday. Nikki Nelson Allen of Commerce faces drug distribution charges in connection with about 5.5 pounds of marijuana, a large quantity of butane honey oil and $7,462 in cash, Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office spokesman Mitchell Posey...
3 arrested after children found with flea bites in Clayton County home
3 arrested after children found with flea bites in Clayton County home

Three people, who were initially wanted on outstanding warrants, were arrested on child cruelty charges after four children were found with flea bites, Clayton County authorities said.  Nicole Tarney Hunter, 26, Chantrell Marlon Mitchell, 33, and Michael Gamal Mitchell, 58, remained in the Clayton County jail Tuesday night, according to records...
Cops: Man threatened to kill woman who accused him of touching her son
Cops: Man threatened to kill woman who accused him of touching her son

A Roswell man remains in the Fulton County jail weeks after police say he threatened a woman with her son at a gas station.  Allen Drew Robinson, 28, faces a misdemeanor terroristic threat charge after allegedly threatening to kill the woman, who accused him of touching her child, according to a Roswell police report.  The 7-year-old boy...
More Stories