One Year Ago Today (July 16, 2021)…A 33-year-old man acquitted in March of sexually assaulting a prostitute in Santa Ana pleaded guilty to rape, resolving deadlocked verdicts in his trial and was sentenced to three years in prison.

Sebastian Mardoqueo Vicente Alvarez was acquitted March 17 of single felony counts of sexual penetration by a foreign object and assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury.

Jurors deadlocked, however, 8-4, for acquittal on one count of rape, and 9-3 for acquittal on another count of rape. They also deadlocked, 10-2, for acquittal on a charge of criminal threats.

On Friday, Alvarez agreed to plead guilty to one count of rape, while another count of rape was dismissed along with counts of criminal threats and false imprisonment, according to court records.

Alvarez was given credit for 983 days behind bars. Orange County Superior Court Judge Kimberly Menninger ordered him to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

The victim was working as a prostitute about 3 a.m. on Nov. 17, 2018, when she approached Alvarez in his car, Deputy District Attorney David McMurrin said in his opening statement of the trial.

When Alvarez agreed to pay her $100 for sex acts, she got in and he drove her to a location in front of 1525 W. 7th St., McMurrin said.

Before they got started, the woman said she wanted to see the money and “that’s when everything changed. That’s when it went south,” McMurrin said. “That’s when it went from a consensual agreement to prostitution to a sexual assault rape.”

Alvarez took her phone and turned it off before he “got on top of her from the driver’s seat to the passenger’s seat,” and held her in the car for 90 minutes to two hours, he said.

“He put his hands around her throat, choking and strangling her,” McMurrin said.

The woman “grabbed” a $5 bill as she exited and left her phone behind in her attempt to get away, and “started banging and screaming for help” on doors in the neighborhood, he said.

A woman gave the victim her sweater to keep her warm while police were en route, he said.

Jay Moorhead of the Orange County Public Defender’s Office, said his client went to a bar that night and was “there by himself playing pool and had four or five Coronas” before leaving and driving to a “high-prostitution area” to “get late-night tacos.”

There was a lengthy line in the drive-thru, so Alvarez decided to park his car and attempt to walk in to order food, but before he got out, the woman solicited him and he initially said “he didn’t want anything, however, she was persistent,” Moorhead said.

With other motorists honking at them, the woman got in the car and he drove away, he said.

“She asked if he was a cop and he said no,” Moorhead said, adding that she asked him to touch her groin to prove it, so he did.

He drove to a “quiet residential street” and proceeded to have “consensual sex,” but when it “wasn’t finished when she wanted it to,” she asked for more money and he refused, Moorhead said.

The defense attorney said the woman was texting with someone on her phone during the sex.

She grabbed the defendant’s wallet before trying to get out and he attempted to stop her, prompting her to “threaten him that if you don’t give me more money, my pimp is going to come and kill you,” Moorhead said.

Alvarez “saw headlights and at that time, he was scared” because he thought a pimp was approaching, so “he let her out and he took off,” Moorhead said.

“He has a wife and kids and being involved in prostitution is not something you want to be part of,” Moorhead said.

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