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Man found guilty of 1987 Virginia Beach rape to spend life in prison

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Posted at 2:06 PM, Sep 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-26 19:48:36-04
Benjamin James Madonia

Benjamin James Madonia

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – A man will spend the rest of his life behind bars after he was found guilty of a rape that occurred in Virginia Beach back in 1987.

The Virginia Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney announced Monday that Benjamin James Madonia was sentenced by Circuit Court Judge James C. Lewis for rape.

On February 25, 2016, Madonia was found guilty by a jury, who fixed his punishment at life in prison.

Officials say on May 29th, 1987, Madonia and the victim were at the Oceanfront.

The victim traveled from Pennsylvania to Virginia Beach to work for the summer.

The woman, a 22-year-old waitress, left her job and met friends for drinks at a local bar.

When she left at midnight, officials say Madonia offered her a ride home. When she got in the car, she noticed the passenger door had been tampered with.

There was no handle, which prevented her from being able to escape.

Instead of driving her home, Madonia drove her to a dark parking lot and started hitting and choking her. Officials say Madonia raped her several times.

She was able to get to the driver’s side door handle and she crawled out of the car. She ran to a nearby apartment complex and called for help.

Police responded to the scene, but by the time they arrived, Madonia was gone.

The woman was taken to the hospital and a Physical Evidence Recovery Kit (PERK) was taken.

Officials say in 2014, the woman’s PERK was resubmitted to see if DNA testing would reveal a suspect.

They say Madonia’s DNA was a match.

This was not his first brush with the law.

Madonia has also been convicted for criminal sexual contact, grand theft, aggravated assault with a weapon, burglary, false ID to officer, resisting arrest, robbery, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of controlled substance, burglary, breaking into fuel tank, and driving on a suspended license.