On January 3rd, 2017, Heriberto Magana-Velasquez, 21 years old, was convicted of First Degree Forcible Rape, First Degree Burglary, and Assault with a Deadly Weapon Inflicting Serious Injury. During the early morning hours of December 19th, 2015, Mr. Magana-Velasquez left his home and drove around Yancey County to hunt for the victim’s residence. While Mr. Magana-Velasquez had not interacted with the victim since elementary school, he had recently seen her driving and went to search for her vehicle. After he found the victim’s vehicle parked in front of her home, Mr. Magana-Velasquez broke into her home and raped her at knife point. During the assault Mr. Magana-Velasquez threatened to hurt the victim’s family if she told anyone. Despite his threats, the victim reported the rape to law enforcement after Mr. Magana-Velasquez left. The victim was transported to the hospital to treat her eye that was bruised and swollen shut, to suture a knife wound on her thigh, and to complete a sexual assault examination. Mr. Magana-Velasquez was arrested that same day.
Superior Court Judge Marvin Pope sentenced Mr. Magana-Velasquez to prison for 21 years and 11 months to 27 years and 5 months. Upon release from prison, Mr. Magana-Velasquez will be required to wear an ankle bracelet and register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. Additionally, due to an immigration hold, Mr. Magana-Velasquez is expected to begin deportation procedures upon his release.
“The facts in this case are horrific and show the defendant to be a violent predator who literally stalked this victim,” District Attorney Seth Banks said in a statement. “In taking perpetrators like this off the street, I and my office continue to stand with the victims of sexual violence. I would like to commend the efforts of Assistant District Attorney Milton Fletcher, the Yancey County Sheriff’s Office, and the Burnsville Police Department in seeing that this defendant was brought to justice.”