Visalia man sentenced to life in prison for raping unconscious woman

A Tulare County judge sentenced a man to life in prison for raping an unconscious woman in 2017.

On Friday, Tommy Ponce, 53 was sentenced to 44 years-to-life in prison.

According to court documents, Ponce and the 21-year-old victim randomly met while she was walking home with her boyfriend the night of September 29, 2017. Ponce noticed the victim was intoxicated and offered to help get her home.

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Court documents say the woman got into an argument with her boyfriend and began walking home alone. The next thing she remembered is waking up in an unknown vehicle in a different parking lot on Mooney Blvd.

She had scratches and bruises on her body, along with vaginal bleeding. The victim immediately went to urgent care where tests were performed and DNA was obtained which resulted in Ponce's arrest.

Ponce has an extensive criminal history that includes unlawful sex with a minor, domestic violence and robbery.
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