By Cody Mello-Klein | [email protected]
Steven Orellana, a 32-year-old Alexandria resident, was convicted of rape by a jury in Alexandria Circuit Court yesterday, according to a news release.
The conviction follows evidence establishing that in 2019 Orellana forced a coworker he had been dating to engage in a sexual act against her will in his apartment, according to the release.
During the trial, which was significantly delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the victim presented a recording she made in which Orellana explicitly stated that he knew what he did was wrong.
“In any serious violent case like this, my first thought is with the victim because no verdict can make the victim whole again. Any victim who suffers a sexual assault is going to be affected for the rest of his or her life,” Commonwealth’s Attorney Bryan Porter said in an interview with the Times. “ … So we’re satisfied that justice has been done and that a violent offender has been held accountable, but there’s a modicum of being tempered in our response given the extreme psychic toll that has been inflicted on the victim in this case.”
Porter said next steps include a pre-sentencing investigation which includes guidelines that provide the judge with suggested ranges for sentencing. Orellana is currently being held without bail, with his sentencing hearing scheduled for March 17.