Silver Spring man sentenced to eight years in gang rape

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the victim was under age. She was not.

A Silver Spring man was sentenced Tuesday to eight years in prison for his role in a gang rape in October that the assailants recorded with a cellphone.

Elmer Osmar Vasquez pleaded guilty to third-degree sexual offense for his role in what prosecutors called a “heinous” attack in an Olney home where Vasquez and three other members of the “Little R” gang assaulted an intoxicated woman.

Vasquez, known as “Elmo” by the other members, flashed a gang sign to the camera while holding up the victim as the others raped her, according to prosecutors’ sentencing memo. All the while, the victim protested, her eyes drooping and her speech slurred.

“At what point did you think that was okay?” Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge David A. Boynton asked Vasquez, one of four men charged in the assault.

“I wasn’t thinking,” said Vasquez, 21, of Silver Spring.

“This girl needed your help,” Boynton said as he issued his sentence.

“When the video begins, the victim can be heard crying out in a sharp wail, but she was quickly shushed,” the memo states. At other points during the recording, the victim said, “No, no,” “That’s not cool” and “Please, please get your hands off me.”

Police learned of the crime after being tipped off by a witness to a rape that had been recorded on one of the others’ phones. Police did not find that video but instead discovered one of the sexual assault for which Vasquez was sentenced, records show.

Cases are pending against Rogelio “Moreno” Sierra-Duran, Andres “Moro” Cortez and Mohammed “Indio” Ahmed.

Boynton also sentenced Vasquez, who was initially charged with six counts related to the assault, to five years of probation. Also on Tuesday, he was sentenced to 10 years, which were suspended, on a second-degree assault charge stemming from a brawl in September, which he had pleaded guilty to: He punched a woman who hit him with a broomstick as he was leaving a party.

“I want to apologize to the court and to my family,” Vasquez said. The sexual assault, he said, “wasn’t forced or planned. . . . It just got out of control.”

His attorney, Myron Brown, said Vasquez was associated with the Little Rs but was not a member. “Because of who he associated with, he made some poor decisions,” Brown said, calling the charges against Vasquez an “anomaly.”

He also said that Vasquez suffered from bone cancer. After the hearing, he called the sentence “harsh” and said he would talk with Vazquez about asking for a reconsideration by a three-judge panel. Sentencing guidelines called for a sentence of up to two years, with a maximum penalty of 10 years.

Vasquez’s sister, Blanca Vasquez, asked Boynton for leniency. “We want him home,” she said. “He needs his treatment.”

— The Gazette

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