Man pleads guilty to kidnapping woman in Walla Walla

Juan C. Villegas was accused of abducting an acquaintance and attacking her in 2006.

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WALLA WALLA -- A man pleaded guilty Monday afternoon in Superior Court to kidnapping a woman in 2006.

Juan C. Villegas, 25, who lists an address in Fontana, Calif., entered the guilty plea to a charge of second-degree kidnapping.

He initially was charged with first-degree kidnapping, first-degree rape and felony harassment, but the case was reduced in exchange for his guilty plea.

Villegas didn't admit guilt, but acknowledged the prosecution has evidence that could convict him. He faces a standard-range jail term of six months to a year when he's sentenced later. The prosecution is recommending nine months, the middle of the range.

Officials said Villegas abducted a female acquaintance from outside her place of employment in Walla Walla the afternoon of Nov. 19, 2006. She told authorities Villegas persuaded her to get into his car, drove off and threatened to kill her, according to a police report filed in court.

Villegas took her into the county -- possibly around Lower Waitsburg Road -- where he raped her in the vehicle and then took her home at her urging, officials alleged.

The criminal charges against Villegas were filed in February 2007 and a warrant was issued for his arrest. He subsequently was apprehended and booked into the County Jail in late January of this year.

Terry McConn can be reached at terrymcconn@wwub.com or 526-8319.

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