Witnesses recounted Tuesday how they saw a 23-year-old first inside Hennessy’s bar, then on the street in the snow, and seated in a T car on the Orange line all before she was was allegedly kidnapped and sexually assaulted by Victor Pena.
“She didn’t seem like she was sitting up straight by herself,” one witness, Amy Simpson, who saw the victim and her alleged attacker on the T, testified in Suffolk Superior Court. “The man she was with was kind of supporting her. Her eyes weren’t really open, kind of fluttering.”
Several witnesses testified Tuesday that the young woman’s condition and situation at different points through the night caught their attention, even raised alarms.
But despite the wary eyes, eventually she was left alone and impaired with an alleged predator.
On Jan. 19, 2019, the woman was leaving the downtown bar Hennessy’s when she was allegedly abducted by 38-year-old Pena. Over the course of three days, law enforcement testified, the victim was repeatedly raped and photographed over 300 times before police found her with Pena in his apartment.
After over three years held without bail, Pena’s trial began with opening arguments Monday. He is facing charges of kidnapping and 10 counts of aggravated rape and has pleaded not guilty. The kidnapping charge carries a sentence of up to 25 years in prison and each rape charge could result in up to 30 years each.
Defense attorney Lorenzo Perez said Monday the case will hinge on Pena’s intent and state of mind, referencing “bizarre” behavior. Pena was not in the courtroom Monday or Tuesday following loud outbursts in Spanish during jury selection.
Pena was found competent to stand trial following a three-day hearing on his mental health status earlier this month.
Much of Tuesday’s testimony focused on the timeline on the night of the reported kidnapping, with several witnesses testifying to the victim’s state and interactions with Pena.
Pena was following an acquaintance, Marlon Roldan, on his was home when they came across the young woman, Roldan testified using a Spanish-language interpreter.
Roldan warned Pena the girl was drunk, he said, but Pena didn’t listen. Pena broke off from Roldan around the Downtown Crossing station, the witness said, hugging and kissing the woman while she was struggling to remain upright.
Roldan recounted he followed the two for a bit, expecting Pena to leave the girl, but eventually lost them as Pena led her into the station.
Police eventually traced her to Pena’s apartment in the Bunker Hill public housing development in Charlestown.
Testimony will resume at 9 a.m. Wednesday.
BOSTON, MA – July 19: Marlon Roldan, a witness in the trial for Victor Pena at Suffolk Superior Court on July 19, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. Pena is accused of kidnapping and raping a 23 year old woman after he met her at a Boston night club in 2019. (Staff Photo By Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald) BOSTON, MA – July 19: A screen grab at Victor Pena ’s trial at Suffolk Superior Court on July 19, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. The video shows him with his arm around the unidentified 23 year old woman he is accused of kidnapping and raping after he met her at a Boston night club in 2019. (Staff Photo By Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)