Mother testifies against foster son accused of rape

By Andy Jenks - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - New details emerge in the disturbing rape case involving a Henrico foster mother. Today, in a preliminary hearing, the victim testified against her foster son, who's accused of the crime.

In a first floor room at the Henrico County courthouse, a woman avoided eye contact with 18-year-old Arturo Lopez. This woman was his foster mother. In testimony, she described how Lopez raped her in her West End neighborhood the morning of April 9.

According to testimony, Lopez walked up to the victim's bedroom. He wanted medicine. So she went to get it in the kitchen. She testified Lopez then grabbed a butcher knife and held it in front of her face.

She told the judge that Lopez, using the threat of force, then led her from the kitchen onto the living room floor. She claimed Lopez said (in Spanish), "I was sent here to kill you and [your husband]. Now, we are going to make love."

A woman who is uninvolved in the case, but listened to the hearing, offered her opinion on condition she not be identified.

"It's just hard to hear that you would turn to do something so harmful to someone that love and care for you, and try to help you," the woman said.

Lopez is an immigrant from Mexico. He has no family in the United States. Foster care began last fall, when he was 17.

Lopez, who speaks almost no English, did not utter a single word during the hearing. Instead, he listened to the testimony with the aid of a translator. In court, the victim said the attack made her think, she was about to die.

"I cried myself. I saw the family's pain. One of the ladies was in tears, everybody was in tears. But one of them was in tears, and you could see how emotionally upset she was," said the woman who listened to the hearing.

After hearing the testimony, the judge certified the case to the grand jury. Lopez remains in jail. He's due back in court in July to set a trial date.

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