Derik Villeda-Morales, 24, is off the streets after recently pleading guilty to the second-degree rape of a University of Maryland student.
The victim, now 22 and a graduate who does not wish to be identified, said the incident happened on Feb. 21, 2009, at a bar on campus. After spending the night drinking with friends, she decided to accept a ride home with a man she thought was a cab driver.
“As soon as he passed my apartment and I said, 'Look, that’s where I live,' ... immediately the mood changed and he was very aggressive,” the victim said.
She then called her friend for help and even got in contact with the police. But Villeda-Morales repeatedly punched her in the face and then sexually assaulted her, she said.
“Ultimately, I thought that he was going to kill me following the rape,” said the victim. “The fact that he kept driving, I just had no idea where he was taking me.”
She decided to jump out of the moving car and was later found on the side of the road by an off-duty police officer.
Prince George’s County police went to work, and a little more than two weeks later, they found Villeda-Morales after he ran through a stop sign. He was positively identified in a lineup and Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Glenn Ivey
is happy he’ll be behind bars.
“We thought that the fact that the family wanted to bring closure on this case -- there was reluctance about testifying -- we thought that this plea arrangement was a good way to go,” said Ivey. “He’s got a 15-year jail sentence and likely will be deported after that.”
While the sentence brings closure to the case, the victim said the painful memories will linger.