A 20-year-old Rockville man was sentenced to 40 years in prison Wednesday for the 2010 sexual assault of a woman who was walking near the Aspen Hill Shopping Center, State’s Attorney John J. McCarthy said.

Roberto Cruz Gonzales had pleaded guilty in February to a first-degree sexual offense and attempted rape in an attack McCarthy called “horrific.”

According to court documents, Gonzales tracked the victim from behind as she walked past the Panera Bread in the shopping center. After the victim crossed Connecticut Ave. onto Independence St., Gonzales wrapped “a ligature around her neck”and dragged her into a wooded area, where he attacked her, police said.

The woman bit Gonzales as he forced himself on her, and he fled.

Mike Laris came to Post by way of Los Angeles and Beijing. He’s written about the world’s greatest holstein bull, earth’s biggest pork producer, home builders, the homeless, steel workers and Italian tumors.