For the second time, a Thurston County jury has convicted Marcos Lozano of raping a 24-year-old woman at his Lacey residence in 2009.
Lozano’s original conviction had been overturned by the state Court of Appeals in March after it ruled that a jury should not have been allowed to hear evidence that two accusers — the alleged victim and another 21-year-old woman — claimed that Lozano had raped them in separate incidents in February 2009. The women did not know each other.
The Thurston County prosecuting attorney decided to retry Lozano on a second-degree rape charge after the Court of Appeals overturned the conviction.
The jury returned its guilty verdict around noon Friday after beginning its deliberations Thursday.
During this week’s trial, Lozano’s attorney, Michael Maltby, argued that Lozano had consensual sex with the 24-year-old on Feb. 8, 2009. But a witness in Lozano’s home testified that Lozano was having sex with the 24-year-old while she was passed out or sleeping. The 24-year-old also testified that she was highly intoxicated and had passed out on a couch in Lozano’s home.
In Lozano’s July 2010 trial, a jury convicted Lozano of raping the 24-year-old but acquitted him of raping the 21-year-old woman after a night of drinking at the Log Cabin Tavern on Feb. 16, 2009.
The Court of Appeals opinion overturning Lozano’s original conviction stated that the trial court’s justification for joining two accusations of rape into a single trial relied on a statute that the state Supreme Court has since ruled unconstitutional.
Defense attorneys typically object to separate crimes being “joined” at trial, arguing that it prejudices a jury.
Lozano, now 31, received an eight-year prison sentence after his 2010 conviction. He remained in custody as the state retried the case. For Lozano’s retrial, “joining” the two cases was no longer an issue, because he was not retried for the charge he was acquitted of.
Thurston County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney John Skinder said Friday that at sentencing, he will ask a judge for an eight-year sentence. Lozano will get credit for time served, Skinder added.
Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5445 email@example.com