Man Convicted in ‘Brutal Rape,’ Assault of El Monte Store Clerk: DA’s Office

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Joseph Leo Amaya, 19, has been charged in the rape of a college student at an El Monte convenience store. (Credit: El Monte Police)

A 19-year-old man accused in the “brutal rape” and assault of an El Monte convenience store clerk has been convicted on multiple charges, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s announced Monday.

Joseph Leo Amaya was found guilty on Friday of two counts of forcible rape, two counts of sexual penetration by foreign object and one count of assault with intent to commit a felony, prosecutors said in a news release.  A special allegation of aggravated kidnapping was also “found true.”

The jury deliberated for less than two hours before reaching a guilty verdict on the charges.

Amaya approached the victim, a college student, last October at the store where she worked and tried unsuccessfully to get her phone number. He eventually left, but returned hours later while she was getting to ready to close the store and forced his way in as she attempted to lock the doors, according to the DA’s office.

Once inside, Amaya barricaded the entrance, dragged the victim by her hair to the back of the store and repeatedly sexually assaulted her, prosecutors said.

Surveillance video and audio and DNA evidence linked him to the assault, the DA’s office stated.

Amaya, whom police had said was a known gang member, faces a maximum sentence of 125 years to life in prison.

Sentencing in the case is scheduled for Sept. 22.