Rape, art theft bring prison

| October 13, 2009

A judge slapped a 40- to 60-year sentence on a man who stole a local church’s centuries-old Virgin Mary painting to try to fund an abortion for the 14-year-old girl he raped.

This morning, Douglas County District Judge Joseph Troia sentenced Aurelio Vallecillo-Sanchez to the term — which translates to 20 to 30 years’ incarceration under state sentencing guidelines.

Vallecillo-Sanchez, 40, will not be eligible for parole until after 20 years. If he is not paroled, he likely will be released — and deported — after serving 30 years.

Vallecillo-Sanchez, 40, had faced up to 70 years in prison — 50 for the sexual assault and 20 years for the theft of "The Virgin Immaculata," a painting that St. Cecilia Cathedral officials valued at $100,000.

Vallecillo-Sanchez had planned to sell the painting and use the proceeds to pay for an abortion for the 14-year-old girl.

But after taking the girl to Mexico, a doctor viewed an ultrasound and informed Vallecillo-Sanchez and the girl that the fetus was too far along.

That wasn’t all. Prosecutors and police say that Vallecillo-Sanchez threatened to kill the girl and her family if she told anyone he was the father.

Police investigating the sexual assault of the girl then spoke with Vallecillo-Sanchez’s children, who told them of a series of church thefts that Vallecillo-Sanchez committed in 2006 and 2007.

In all, Vallecillo-Sanchez was suspected of stealing dozens of pieces of religious artwork from at least five area churches.



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Category: Church Security