Jury finds foster son guilty of rape

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

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - A Henrico teen who was in the country illegally is found guilty of raping his foster mother.

After several hours of deliberations, a jury of eight women and four men found Arturo Lopez guilty of both rape, and, abduction with intent to defile. Now, for the first time, the victim is speaking publicly, hoping to use her experience to help others.

Margaret Cobb and her husband walked out of court with poise and purpose, having just re-lived, for 12 hours, the worst day of their entire lives.

"It's really blown a hole in our lives, both individually and as a family," Cobb said after the trial.

Earlier, Cobb testified that on April 9th, her foster son, Arturo Lopez, then 17, held her at knifepoint, and led her onto the floor of their West End home, forcing her to have sex.

"I really believe that he would do the same thing again, and that he would use the knife next time, and not leave a witness," Cobb said.

The jury believed her story, having heard a dramatically different tale by Lopez. Through an interpreter, he testified that it was Cobb who initiated a sexual affair in which he unwillingly participated. Lopez said he kept it a secret, because "One phone call can have you deported."

"I am really sad for him, that he's ruined his life. I honestly can't say I know anything he's said to me has ever been true," Cobb said.

Cobb's two daughters say the healing is just now getting started.

"We've both had to do counseling, both been depressed. Both suffered bad dreams at night. It goes on and on," said daughter Caroline Lancaster.

Already this loving family to so many other foster children, has decided it's time to move on.

"We loved doing foster care, we've loved all the kids that we had, but we just don't feel like at this time,  we just don't see how we could ever do that again," Cobb said.

Lopez -who maintains his innocence and plans to appeal- cried when he realized just how long he'll be going away to prison. The jury ultimately recommended 30 years, though Lopez faced the possibility of life behind bars.

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