DENVER (KDVR) — A man whose 144-year sentence was reversed after an appeal was resentenced to 96 years in prison, Denver District Attorney Beth McCann said.
Ray Ojeda, 51, was tried, convicted and sentenced in 2015 to 144 years in prison for kidnapping, sexually assaulting and attempting to murder a 15-year-old girl in 1997. After an appeal, that conviction was later reversed.
Cold case prosecutors with the DA’s Office reached a plea agreement in August with Ojeda, and he was sentenced on Monday to 96 years in the Department of Corrections.
According to the DA’s Office, Ojeda forced the 15-year-old at gunpoint into his truck off a Denver street then pistol-whipped and threatened her. He took her to a remote area near the South Platte River where he dragged her down rocks, sexually assaulted her, ripped her clothes off and shot her in the head.
Ojeda then pushed her into the river, shot at her and threw rocks at her before leaving her for dead. The DA’s report said she dragged herself out of the water completely naked, and walked half a mile before flagging down a car for help.
“I am extremely proud that, despite the prior reversal of the conviction, our Cold Case Unit persisted in its prosecution of Ojeda for these brutally violent crimes,” McCann said. “Securing this sentence 25 years after the crime speaks both to the tenacity of the Cold Case team as well as the continued cooperation of the victim. She was just a girl when this horrible crime happened, yet she has remained poised and stalwart for well over two decades. She is an inspiring person and it was a privilege for my office to get to know her over the years.”
The judge who ruled in the case said the nature of the crime and planned attack along with the lack of remorse shown by Ojeda deserved the full punishment and maximum sentence.