Del Torro pleads guilty

Published 5:42 pm Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Cuban man in the U.S. on a work visa who sexually tortured and shot his estranged girlfriend three times in 2011 was sentenced to two life sentences Wednesday.

Raul Mariano Del Torro, 52, pleaded guilty to attempted murder and sexual torture in the April 2011 incident, during which he held a woman inside an Andalusia residence against her will and terrorized her all night long.

District Attorney Walt Merrell credited the victim’s “inspiring strength and courage” for Del Torro’s plea.

Del Torro

Del Torro

“Victims of domestic violence are literally beat down, physically and emotionally,” Merrell said. “This woman had been subjected to unspeakable things by a man who thought he could break her.

“When he realized that she would no longer cower down to him, he faced up to what he had done and pled guilty,” Merrell said. “Of all the life sentences we have handed down, this one is, perhaps, the most gratifying to me because of the heroism the victim has displayed in the face of pure evil.”

During that April night, Del Torro repeatedly told the victim that he was going to kill her, and early the next morning, he forced her into a vehicle at gunpoint. While driving down East Three Notch Street in Andalusia, the victim grabbed the steering wheel, and Del Torro fired four rounds, three of which struck the victim. He then abandoned her and the vehicle near Dairy Queen, but was found that evening after an extensive manhunt. The case was investigated by the Andalusia Police Department, who was praised by Merrell.

“Having a strong case against a monster like Del Torro helps protect not only this victim, but the citizens of Covington County,” he said.