Crime

Man sentenced in carjacking, rape of woman in North County

Edson Salazar Tapia, 21, of San Ardo was arrested Monday, June 24, 2013, on suspicion of carjacking, forcible rape, auto theft and kidnapping. Original story »
Edson Salazar Tapia, 21, of San Ardo was arrested Monday, June 24, 2013, on suspicion of carjacking, forcible rape, auto theft and kidnapping. Original story »

A man charged with carjacking a woman at a Paso Robles gas station and raping her inside her vehicle was sentenced last week to 25 years to life in prison.

Edson Salazar Tapia, 21, of San Ardo was expected to get the 25-to-life term after he pleaded no contest to sexual assault charges in November.

At his formal sentencing Friday, he apologized. His 19-year-old victim did not attend the hearing because she was fearful, though a victim impact statement she wrote was read in court.

The 19-year-old victim told police she had been getting gas on Niblick Road in Paso Robles about 8:30 p.m. on a Sunday night in June when two men approached her, one of them holding a fake gun. The men forced her to drive to San Ardo. One man left the car while Tapia raped the woman inside the vehicle. Tapia drove the victim to San Miguel, where she managed to escape. Tapia then drove off in her car.

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