Ventura man sentenced to prison in attempted rape at church

| March 24, 2010

A judge on Monday sentenced Sean Toner of Ventura to seven years in prison after he pleaded guilty earlier this year to assault with intent to commit rape at a Ventura church.

Prosecutor Margaret Coyle said Tuesday that Toner got four years for the assault charge and three years for a weapons charge. She said he must serve 85 percent of his sentence before he is eligible for parole. He must also register as a sex offender.

The 25-year-old was arrested on July 8, 2009 after a manhunt that lasted less than 40 minutes.

The incident occurred about 9 a.m. at Sacred Heart Church on Henderson Road, police said. Toner approached a woman in the church’s auditorium, took her to a bathroom, threatened her with a piece of glass and tried to sexually assault her, police said.

The woman, who works for the church, was able to break free and call police. The suspect fled on foot. An officer responding to the incident spotted a man matching the suspect’s description walking near Darling Road and Saticoy Avenue, police said. When the officer approached the man, he jumped into a residential yard in the 900 block of Saticoy Avenue, police said.

Toner was later arrested hiding in a yard in the 10400 block of Boulder Court.

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Category: Church Security