A Coachella man who admitted sexually assaulting two women in three attacks was sentenced to 26 years in prison Tuesday.
Jose Luis Contreras, 27, admitted in a September plea deal to numerous charges, including three counts of rape by force and one count of oral copulation. In exchange, two counts of false imprisonment and a count of criminal threats were dropped.
Riverside County Superior Court Judge Charles E. Stafford agreed to credit Contreras with nearly four years of time served.
After sentencing, Contreras addressed the court. “I just wanted to apologize of all the pain I caused to the victims, my parents and my wife,” he said. “I plan to use this time to better myself
Contreras’ crimes date to the summer of 2010 when he was 23 years old.
At his preliminary hearing, a victim testified that she was about to walk home from a friend’s house on Palm Street in Indio the night of Aug. 10, 2011, when a man pulled up in a vehicle and asked if she wanted a ride. She said she had seen the vehicle before and thought the man — whom she identified as Contreras — was from the neighborhood.
When she got into the vehicle, he pulled her down toward his lap by her
hair, the witness said. She said she tried to get away, but he drove her to an
industrial area in Indio.
“What happened when you got to the location?” asked Deputy District Attorney Samantha Paxiao.
“He told me we were going to have a little bit of fun,” the woman said. She said the man straddled her, put one hand over her mouth and used the other to restrain her arm. “He pressed with so much force for so long that I thought I was going to pass out,” the woman said.
They struggled and struck each other, and then he got out of the vehicle and told her to take her clothes off, she said.
“(I said) `I’ll do what you want, just don’t hurt me anymore,”’ she said.
The woman said he touched her privates and tried to have sex with her, then threw her pants and cell phone out of the vehicle and drove off, leaving her there. She called police and said was bruised on her face, neck and arms, and some teeth were loose.
The other victim was assaulted on July 20, 2011, and June 29, 2010, according to the criminal complaint.
Indio police spokesman Ben Guitron said previously that “each incident was very similar in nature.”