An Illinois appellate court has upheld a 100-year sentence imposed on a Texas man for sexually assaulting a woman in her west suburban home in 1999.
The Second District Appellate Court Tuesday dismissed 44-year-old Roberto Noyola-Espinal’s claim that his century-long prison sentence is excessive, according to a statement from the DuPage County state’s attorney’s office.
“After committing such a brutal crime, Mr. Noyola-Espinal thought he could avoid responsibility by fleeing the country,” State’s Attorney Robert Berlin said in the statement. “Seventeen years later justice caught up with him resulting in a well-deserved one-hundred-year sentence. His appeal was nothing short of a second attempt to avoid accountability for his actions and the resulting sentence.”
The appellate court found that Noyola-Espinal was eligible for a sentence of 24 to 120 years in prison and that the trial court did not abuse its discretion with a sentence within that range.
He was found guilty in 2017 of six counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault and one count of home invasion, all felonies, prosecutors said. DuPage County Judge Robert Miller delivered the verdict following a four-day bench trial and the sentence was handed down later that year.
Noyola-Espinal approached the victim’s Lisle apartment Feb. 7, 1999, and knocked on her door, prosecutors said. The woman, then 63, opened the door thinking it was a friend, then tried to close it when she realized she didn’t know the person.
Noyola-Espinal went inside and physically and sexually assaulted the woman, prosecutors said. He ran away and eventually went to Texas.
The victim went to a neighbor’s home and reported what happened, prosecutors said. The case was complicated when the victim died several years later at age 78, but the neighbor to whom she spoke was allowed to tell her story in court.
DNA evidence implicated Noyola-Espinal in the crime, and he was extradited from Texas Feb. 27, 2014, to face charges, prosecutors said.
Noyola-Espinal remains held at the Stateville Correctional Center in Crest Hill, according to Illinois Department of Corrections records. He must serve at least 85 percent of his sentence and will not be eligible for parole until February 2102.