Ex-Con Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for Rape of LES Teen
By Kiratiana Freelon on August 17, 2011 6:57pm
MANHATTAN SUPREME COURT — A convicted felon who recently admitted to raping a 16-year-old Lower East Side girl nearly two decades ago because of a DNA match was sentenced to 10 to 20 years in prison on Wednesday.
Alberto Barriera, 47, declined to speak when offered the chance at his sentencing.
Pleading guilty on Aug. 3, he admitted to following the victim into her Eldridge Street building on Dec. 16, 1993, blindfolding her and choking her, stealing her money and jewelry and then raping her.
Prosecutors said the case hinged on the victim's bravery in testifying before a grand jury in 2003 so that they could indict the anonymous DNA profile taken from her rape kit and preserve the case despite the statute of limitations.
The victim, who was 26-years-old and married with a child in 2003, "took a leap of faith and went before a grand jury for a John Doe indictment hoping one day it would be linked to a man, to a name, to a face," Assistant District Attorney Martha Bashford said Wednesday at the sentencing.
Barriera was not matched to the rape until March 16, 2010, when his DNA sample was collected in Virginia because of a felony drug conviction. He is still serving prison time on that sentence.
The victim was not present for Wednesday's sentencing, but Bashford said the woman "wanted to convey to the court how happy she was that she did not have to relive this in court in front of a jury."