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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Man guilty in sex assault of SMU student

    After one of three men finished raping a Southern Methodist University student they kidnapped off an Old East Dallas street in December 2009, he warned her about what was coming next.

    “”He told me over and over again, ‘Behave now because my boss is coming,'”” the woman testified Tuesday afternoon. “”‘You don’t want to disappoint my boss.’

    “”I just got the feeling that it was the boss that was controlling the situation,”” she told jurors Tuesday at his trial.

    It took that Dallas County jury less than 20 minutes to convict the boss, Alfonso Armendariz Zuniga, 29, of sexually assaulting the woman. The punishment phase of the trial before State District Judge Teresa Hawthorne is expected to begin Wednesday morning. Zuniga, who has shown little emotion during the trial, faces up to life in prison.

    The woman is not being named because The Dallas Morning News generally does not identify victims of sexual assault.

    Tuesday was the second time in four months that she testified about the night three strangers kidnapped and raped her as she was leaving a party at a friend’s house. Her testimony in December helped convict Arturo Arevalo, 29, who was sentenced to life in prison. Zuniga’s cousin Luis Zuniga, 27, has pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing.

    The woman and two girlfriends were skipping to a friend’s car shortly after 2 a.m. on Dec. 5, 2009, when Alfonso Zuniga drove up in a black sport utility vehicle and shouted something, catching the woman’s attention.

    The woman thought perhaps the man was asking for directions. Then she heard one of her friends screaming.

    “”I didn’t really know what was going on at that point until I felt someone grabbing me and felt something cold to my head,”” she said. “”When I had the gun to my head, I just froze.””

    Arevalo and Luis Zuniga grabbed her around her neck and dragged her into the SUV. Alfonso Zuniga hit the gas and sped off, she said.

    Over the next hour and 19 minutes, the men robbed, raped and threatened her.

    “”It seemed like they were having fun because they were laughing loudly,”” she said.

    The woman said she was able to distance herself from her body and tried to stay focused on where the gun was inside the vehicle. Her only concern, she said, was survival.

    Finally the men pushed her out of the vehicle in South Dallas, naked and with duct tape wrapped around her eyes. They told her to run.

    Prosecutor Brandon Birmingham asked the woman how sure she was that Alfonso Zuniga was the driver that night.

    “”I’m 100 percent sure,”” she said. “”I’ve been trying to delete that face from my memory now for 1 1/2 years. It won’t go away.””

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