Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli announced Wednesday the guilty pleas of a Shenandoah County gang member to rape, aggravated sexual battery and felony gang participation.
Harold Brian Guanillo-Cueva pleaded guilty to raping one unconscious 15-year-old girl, sexually battering another and committing these acts in association with his criminal street gang, the South Side Locos.
“Guanillo-Cueva and his co-defendants must now face the consequences for having committed some of the most traumatic, personal, and vile offenses short of murder. My office remains committed to prosecuting gang members for their heinous acts. Gang members should take heed that we will continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with law enforcement to combat their violence and discourage anyone thinking about joining their ranks. As for the victims of these despicable acts, we hope that this justice will help in the healing process,” says Cuccinelli.
The South Side Locos is a criminal street gang with roughly 800 members and is based in Northern Virginia.
On November 19, 2006, dozens of members came to Woodstock to attend a gang meeting at the home of Alex Vigil. Members attending the meeting included Guanillo-Cueva, Antonio Mendoza, Luis Hernandez-Callejas and an associate, Ryan Williams.
Following the meeting, two 15-year-old girls from Shenandoah County attended a party at the house where they were given large quantities of alcohol and rendered unconscious. The gang members and associates raped, sexually battered and forcibly sodomized the unconscious girls.
While committing these acts, gang members chanted the gang’s name, displayed gang hand signs and wrote gang graffiti on the back of one of the girls.
On July 13, 2010, the Shenandoah Multi-Jurisdiction Grand Jury indicted Vigil, Guanillo-Cueva, Mendoza, Hernandez-Callejas and Williams on charges of rape, abduction, sodomy and felony gang participation.
Judge Dennis L. Hupp accepted the guilty pleas of Guanillo-Cueva Wednesday in Shenandoah County Circuit Court. Guanillo-Cueva’s sentencing is scheduled for April 13.
Felony gang participation carries a sentence of up to ten years in the penitentiary, aggravated sexual battery carries a sentence of up to 20 years and rape carries a sentence of up to life in prison.
With the guilty pleas entered Wednesday, all those indicted in connection with this case have pleaded guilty and have been sentenced or are awaiting sentencing.
Vigil pleaded guilty to two counts of rape, one count of forcible sodomy and one count of felony gang participation, and was sentenced to serve 20 years.
Mendoza pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual battery and felony gang participation and was sentenced to eight years.
Hernandez-Callejas pleaded guilty to rape and felony gang participation. He is awaiting sentencing on April 13 under a plea agreement that calls for an active 13-year, eight-month sentence.
Williams pleaded guilty to rape, forcible sodomy and felony gang participation. He is awaiting sentencing on April 13 under a plea agreement that calls for an active 18-year sentence.
The Shenandoah Valley Multi-Jurisdiction Grand Jury investigated the case in conjunction with Albert Mitchell, the Shenandoah County Commonwealth’s Attorney; Tim Carter of the Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office; the Fairfax County Police Department; the Virginia Department of Corrections; and the Office of the Attorney General.
All of the cases were prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Phil Figura, a gang prosecutor assigned to Attorney General Cuccinelli’s Special Prosecutions and Organized Crime section. Figura is the first-ever recipient of the “Gang Prosecutor of the Year Award” given by the Virginia Gang Investigator’s Association in 2010.