Silver Spring, MD – A Honduran man who brutally raped a woman in a Silver Spring apartment building was the fourth illegal immigrant to be arrested for rape in Montgomery County in August.
The incident occurred just before midnight on Aug. 16 after the victim got home from a long day at work, WJLA reported.
She parked her car at her complex parking lot in the 8500-block of 16th Street and carried her dry cleaning and groceries up to the apartment she shared with roommates.
Police said the woman changed into pajamas and flip flops and went back down to her car to get a full laundry basket, WJLA reported.
As she was headed back into her building with her load, she noticed a Hispanic man – later identified as 26-year-old Kevin Mendoza - following her.
She said that as soon as she used her keycard to unlock the side door, the man grabbed her from behind, threw her on the floor, and began to strangle her, WJLA reported.
The victim told police she screamed for her roommates but nobody heard her.
The man pulled her pants down and raped the woman, keeping a hand on her throat the entire time, WJLA reported.
The rape went on for seven minutes, during which the victim tried to bribe her rapist to stop by offering him money and her car, but it didn’t work.
Police said that when Mendoza was finished raping the woman, he pulled up his pants, buckled his belt, and left the building the same way he had entered it, WJLA reported.
The victim ran into her apartment as soon as the man released her and called 911.
She was transported to Adventist Healthcare Shady Grove Medical Center where she was treated for injuries and staff performed a rape kit, WJLA reported.
Doctors told investigators that the woman suffered bruising on her neck, a loss of memory due to the strangulation, and was having trouble swallowing.
Police wrote in court documents that “doctors advised that the severity of the strangulation could have easily resulted in the victim’s death,” according to WJLA.
Meanwhile, detectives reviewed security camera footage from the apartment building and discovered the crime had taken place in front of two different cameras.
The first surveillance video showed Mendoza following the woman to the side door of the building, WJLA reported.
The second video showed that Mendoza threw his victim on the ground and raped her, using all of his body weight in an effort to strangle her, police said.
Charging documents described the horrific video as “detectives can see Victim A's arms and legs flailing trying to escape," WJLA reported.
That’s when the video showed Mendoza started punching his victim in the head with a closed fist, police said.
"Victim A stops struggling at this point and the unknown male tries to reposition Victim A in a corner by the wall and a vending machine,” police wrote.
Court documents said he went on to remove her pajama bottoms and panties and then brutally raped her, WJLA reported.
The day after Mendoza raped the woman, he showed back up at the apartment complex and told security that he lived on the 5th floor.
But security guards noticed his resemblance to the suspect and when they acted suspicious, Mendoza fled, WJLA reported.
Police ran a check on a driver’s license of a Hispanic man that had formerly lived in Unit 520 and discovered his photo matched the suspect’s picture from the surveillance video.
Mendoza was arrested by Montgomery County police three days after the rape occurred, WJLA reported.
Police said that after Mendoza was read his rights in Spanish, he offered to confess if he were permitted to call his family first.
Court documents did not say whether Mendoza had actually confessed, WJLA reported.
Mendoza is married with two children, according to court documents, and most recently worked as a “carpentry helper.”
He has been charged with first-degree rape, attempted second-degree murder, and first-degree assault, WJLA reported.
The charges carry up to one life term in prison, plus 55 years.
Montgomery County District Court Judge Karen Ferretti ordered Mendoza held without bond because of the violent nature of the crime.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials said that Mendoza was in the country illegally and they have filed an immigration detainer with Montgomery County.
He was the fourth illegal alien arrested on rape charges in Montgomery County in August, WJLA reported.