OC Man Convicted in Decades-Old Revenge Murder of Alleged Rapist

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Gianni Anthony Van is released from handcuffs as he arrives at court in Orange County for his murder trial. (Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

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A former hotel concierge was found guilty Thursday of participating in a two-decade-old kidnapping and murder, crimes committed in revenge after the defendant’s ex-girlfriend told him a man had raped her.

Gianni Anthony Van, 45, of Costa Mesa was convicted of first-degree murder in the death of Gonzalo Ramirez, a 24-year-old insulation installer whose mutilated body was found along an Irvine road in April 1995.

Van had recently broken up with his girlfriend, Norma Patricia Esparza, when she met Ramirez at El Cortez, a Santa Ana club, in March of that year. She later told Van that Ramirez raped her in her dorm room at Pomona College.

Now 40 and – until her arrest – a professor of psychology in Switzerland, Esparza testified for the prosecution, saying an angry, agitated Van took her to El Cortez and insisted that she point out her rapist. She said they were accompanied by several of his friends.

Click here to read the full story at LATimes.com.

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