A Rancho Santa Margarita house painter was convicted Monday of sexually assaulting and severely beating a 20-year-old woman who was camping in Trabuco Canyon.
An Orange County jury deliberated 2 1/2 hours before finding Raul Salvador Marin guilty of attempted murder, sexual penetration with a foreign object, aggravated assault and other charges in the 2004 attack. He faces up to 75 years in prison. He is set to be sentenced in January.
Marin’s public defender could not be reached for comment.
The woman, whose name has been withheld because she is a sex-crime victim, lives out of state. She testified against Marin during his two-week trial but was not present for the verdict.
Deputy Dist. Atty. Mike Fell said justice was served in a case that “epitomized every woman’s worst nightmare,” and which he described as one of the most horrific cases he’d handled in 17 years as a prosecutor.
The woman, described as a drifter, was found face-down in a pool of blood in June 2004, about 10 feet from Trabuco Creek Road near the entrance to the Cleveland National Forest. She was semiconscious and so badly beaten that detectives could not immediately determine her race or age.
Investigators determined she had met Marin, now 33, and two other men the night before at a convenience store, and accompanied them to a trailer at a nearby campsite. When she left the area, Marin chased her down a desolate dirt road, pushed her into a tangle of cactus and brush, beat her head with a rock, and sexually assaulted her.
Left for dead, the woman remained undiscovered for from seven to 10 hours before two day laborers riding to a local general store spotted her.
“Nobody thought she was going to live. She was not supposed to live,” Fell said. “We found her right sandal on the road. And 300 feet away, we found her left sandal. You can visually see that this poor woman was literally running for her life.”
She suffers from residual brain damage, authorities said.