NY Teen Sentenced in ‘Heinous' Rape of Girl in Woods: DA

A Long Island teen has been sentenced to 12 years in prison in a rape last year that the prosecutor called "one of the most brutal, heinous crimes" that he had seen. 

Joel Escobar was sentenced Wednesday in the May 2015 rape of a 16-year-old girl in a wooded area near the Brentwood Country Club. Prosecutors had recommended an 18-year sentence. 

The mother of the victim said during sentencing that Escobar will never understand the effects on her daughter "because he has no conscience," according to a press release from the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office. 

Escobar pleaded guilty in March to rape, criminal sex act and robbery charges in the case. 

Prosecutors said Escobar and Jose Cornejo forced the girl into the wooded area and took turns raping her while Bryan Larios allegedly acted as a lookout. Cornejo is serving a 15-year prison sentence, and Larios is awaiting trial. 

All three teens are from El Salvador and are members of the MS-13 street gang, authorities said. 

"This is one of the most brutal, heinous crimes that I have seen in a long, long time," Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said at the time. "This poor young woman is so lucky that, quite frankly, that she is alive. These are vicious young men, vicious young men and what they did to her was absolutely terrible."

The three approached the girl and a male friend at a Brentwood middle school, prosecutors said. They allegedly robbed and beat the friend, who then fled the scene. The trio then allegedly told the girl they had a weapon and forced her to walk about a half-mile to a secluded area of the Brentwood Country Club golf course. It was there they raped her. 

She was later found walking out of the woods nearly naked by golfers, who called police.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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