Texas man pleads guilty to 1970s Winchester rapes


Venkata Yeleti was sentenced to 10 years in prison, with 9 years suspended

WINCHESTER, Va. (WDVM) — A Texas man pleaded guilty Friday to two counts of rape, stemming from incidents in the 1970s in Winchester, Va.

Venkata Yeleti, 76, of Temple, Texas, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for each of the two counts of rape but will serve just one year total as part of a plea agreement. The victim supported the agreement.

The victim, who was a child when the attacks occurred between 1975 and 1976, reported the abuse in 2018 to her son, long after she and Yeleti had both moved out of Winchester. In turn, her son encouraged her to contact police in Winchester.

The case, while dated, was bolstered by Yeleti’s partial confessions the victim and her family members had recorded when confronting Yeleti.

Prosecutors say it’s not often they’re able to successfully prosecute older cases.

“The reason that they’re so hard is that there’s no evidence,” said Heather Hovermale, the Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney of Winchester. “We can’t investigate something that happened in 1975 for physical evidence or there’s no DNA to be tested so we’re relying on the statements of the defendant and of the victim.”

Yeleti will report to the Northwestern Regional Detention Center on August 12 to serve his year-long sentence.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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