Man sentenced to 19 years for rape 

A rapist was slapped with a 19-year state prison sentence Friday for attacking a vitamin saleswoman at his Redwood City home.

Prosecutors are calling it a stiff sentence, saying they had sought only a 12-year term for Ricardo Mendez, 61, who was found guilty Nov. 16 on multiple felony counts including forcible rape, forcible oral copulation and sexual penetration.

On May 28, Mendez invited a 19-year-old woman he had met at adult school to his home. The woman sold Herbalife Vitamins and Mendez told her he was interested in buying some, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

In his home, Mendez asked her into his bedroom to show her his vitamins, Wagstaffe said. He pushed her down on the bed and raped her, even after she protested. She said she was married and wanted nothing to do with him, Wagstaffe said.

The woman fought for her freedom. She found a flashlight and bashed Mendez over the head multiple times, causing a gash that needed five staples to close, Wagstaffe said. After she was assaulted, she broke free and ran to a friend’s apartment, where cops were called.

Mendez “gave multiple stories about what had happened,” Wagstaffe said.

Aside from a 19-year, 4-month prison sentence, Mendez has been ordered to register as a sex offender for life.

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