A Woodland man who tried to abduct a Vancouver employment agency employee to fulfill an apparent rape fantasy was sentenced Wednesday to 12 years in prison.
Armando Ventura-Bautista, 21, pleaded guilty in December in Clark County Superior Court to attempted first-degree kidnapping with sexual motivation and attempted first-degree rape.
Vancouver police were called around 4 p.m. Oct. 10 to Cody Staffing, 3100 Main St., for a report of a man wielding a knife and grabbing a woman, according to an affidavit of probable cause. The victim told police Ventura-Bautista had come in to pick up his paycheck, but after lingering in the foyer and asking for assistance, he suddenly lunged at her.
Ventura-Bautista grabbed the woman around the neck, shoulders and hair, causing her to fall. He then dragged her, as she screamed and fought, about 20 feet from the foyer outside toward a parked van, the affidavit says.
The woman kicked and pulled her own hair, allowing her to escape, run to the bathroom, lock the door and call 911, court records state.
Ventura-Bautista was arrested at the scene and admitted to the attack. He said he found the woman to be attractive and thought they were alone, the affidavit says. He said he intended to duct-tape the woman’s hands and feet once she was in the van, “basically what you see on TV.” He added that he watches “The FBI Files” and “Forensic Files,” according to court documents.
He said he had duct tape, the knife and a ski mask with eye holes in the van, court records state.
Ventura-Bautista said he intended on “admiring” the woman after she was bound. But when the officer said he didn’t believe him, Ventura-Bautista said, “To be 100 percent honest, I’d have probably raped her,” the affidavit reads. He further stated he would have searched for a secluded spot or motel to take the woman.
When asked why he wanted to do this, Ventura-Bautista said he was “having a bad day,” the affidavit says.
Senior Deputy Prosecutor Kasey Vu told the court Wednesday that Ventura-Bautista had been planning his attack for about 1 1/2 years, and also had a hammer in the van in case things went wrong and he needed to use it on his victim. He asked that the court impose a mid-range sentence of 144 months.
In a tearful statement to the court, the victim said she believes her life could have ended that day. She said that after reading the police report, she knew that if she had been successfully taken to the van, she wouldn’t have escaped.
The woman said she now suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety that require medication.
She added that it makes her sick to think that this could have happened to someone else, particularly a child.
Ventura-Bautista’s attorney, Jeff Riback, said his client has been “very remorseful” of his actions. He added that no one disagrees with the facts of what happened or that the victim suffered a great deal of trauma. However, he said Ventura-Bautista was experiencing a psychotic episode at the time.
He asked that the judge should consider some mitigating factors, including issues from Ventura-Bautista’s childhood, and hand down a five-year sentence.
“After hearing all of this, you know, it’s a very tough situation. I can’t forgive myself for what I did. To know that I caused her that much pain, knowing she has a family out there, it’s just … ,” Ventura-Bautista said trailing off. “I just can’t forgive myself, your honor. I made a bad choice that day.”
“I’m not the person to go around raping women, kidnapping and all of that,” he added.
Judge John Fairgrieve noted that if Ventura-Bautista had been convicted at trial on the original, more serious charges, he would have faced nearly 20 years in prison.
Fairgrieve said Ventura-Bautista may not have been initially planning to attack the woman, but he saw her and “psychologically locked onto her.” His actions had a substantial impact on the victim, who continues to suffer to this day, he said, in agreeing with the prosecution’s sentencing recommendation.
In addition to his prison sentence, which is subject to the Indeterminate Sentence Review Board, Ventura-Bautista must register as a sex offender for life, and undergo a psychosexual evaluation and treatment.