Washington County roofers sentenced after taking mentally challenged woman across state lines for sex

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Two Washington County roofers are headed to prison for abducting a mentally challenged woman from her West Virginia neighborhood last summer and transporting her to Washington for sex.

Jose Jesus Tapia Montes, 38, and Elmer Pina Pinto, 44, both of whom are from Mexico and in the country illegally, were sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Wheeling.

Montes received 30 months and Pinto, also known as Elmer Ramirez, got 33 months.

Both had pleaded guilty in April.

The FBI said the men abducted the 19-year-old woman from outside her home in the Elm Grove section of Wheeling last July and drove her to their residence on Wylie Avenue in Washington, Pa., where they sexually assaulted her for four days.

The men and their lawyers argued that the woman went with them willingly, showed no signs of being disabled and gave her consent to sex. Montes and Pinto also argued in pretrial motions that their IQs are so low that they could not perceive that the woman was mentally challenged.

But the FBI said the pair had been driving around Elm Grove on July 7 "looking for a victim." Agents said a psychological examination showed she functions at about the level of a 12-year-old and could not legally consent to sex because of her mental infirmities.

Agents said the two men held the woman captive and raped her for four days before returning her to Wheeling on July 11.

The investigation was a challenge for authorities because the woman initially could not describe the men, their car or where they went. She also initially denied having sex with the men when questioned by Wheeling police, and friends of the two roofers said she didn't appear to be held against her will.

During a forensic interview at a child advocacy center, however, she said the two held her captive and forced themselves on her.

Both are subject to deportation after they serve their prison terms.

mobilehome - breaking - region - neigh_washington

Torsten Ove: tove@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1510. First Published July 30, 2013 2:45 PM


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