Illegal immigrant sentenced for raping teen in Clermont County, faces deportation
BATAVIA, Ohio (WKRC) - Prosecutors say Jose Tovilla Lopez is guilty of rape, stole an elderly woman’s Social Security number and is living in the United State illegally.
Friday morning, the 41-year-old pleaded guilty to rape as part of a plea agreement that will send him to prison for 8 years.
“He forcibly raped a teenage girl and when she tried to fight back she left physical scratch marks on his face and throat,” said Assistant Clermont County Prosecutor Scott O’Reilly.
O’Reilly says the assault happened on April 14, 2017 at the girl’s home where Tovilla Lopez was an invited guest.
O’Reilly says Tovilla Lopez got the 15-year-old daughter of a friend drunk after everyone else in the house was in bed. He then assaulted her after she passed out.
Tovilla Lopez ran from the home after the girl fought back. He was located the next day in Sharonville.
Clermont County Common Pleas Judge Victor Haddad, through an interpreter, quizzed Tovilla Lopez before accepting his guilty plea. He informed him that he would likely be deported after serving the 8-year sentence. O’Reilly says that wouldn’t be Tovilla Lopez’s first run-in with immigration officials.
“He had been deported in the past, “ O’Reilly said. “And he returned and he was using a 69-year-old woman in Arkansas’s Social Security number to obtain employment. So when you talk about breaking the deportation laws he was also engaged in identity fraud.” O’Reilly says he has shared all his information with federal authorities.
The victim’s mother made an emotional statement to the court before Tovilla Lopez was sentenced. After the hearing she told O’Reilly she wanted to make a public statement.
“It’s always a concern that in 10 years he will try to cross back over. That’s why we need stronger borders and to work with ICE and Homeland Security to protect our borders. Not only to protect us but to protect our children,” the girl’s mother said after the hearing. She said she will lobby lawmakers for tougher rape and immigration laws.
O’Reilly said he understood the family’s concerns. “I think as a family and individuals you get frustrated because, yeah, this could have been prevented if only x, y or z had happened.”