Guilty Plea In Rape Case Results In 30-Year Sentence

SNOW HILL — A Florida man charged with the brutal beating and rape of a woman in Ocean City on Memorial Day weekend in 2008 pleaded guilty this week in Worcester County Circuit Court to first-degree rape and was sentenced to 30 years in jail.

Lorenzo Ivan Garcia-Moreno, 25, on Tuesday pleaded guilty to first-degree rape in the attack on a woman in a parking lot on 49th Street adjacent to a popular resort nightclub on May 24, 2008 and was sentenced to five more years than prosecutors were seeking in the case. Garcia-Moreno was located in Florida several months after the attack when DNA evidence submitted to a national database identified him as the suspect nearly two years later.

According to court documents, the female victim was at Seacrets on the night of the attack when she left her friends to find a quiet place to take a phone call. On her way back to the area where he friends were located, the allegedly intoxicated female was asked to leave the establishment, leaving her purse and identification inside.

According to court documents, the victim attempted to call her friends to let them know she had been asked to leave to no avail and waited on a bench near the nightclub around 1 a.m. before deciding to walk back to her hotel about five blocks away. When she realized she did not have a key to the hotel room, she walked back to 49th Street around 2:15 a.m. where she was attacked by Garcia-Moreno in a parking lot adjacent to the nightclub.

According to court records, Garcia-Moreno first punched her in the face and body for several minutes before returning to brutally rape her. Witnesses reported seeing the suspect, later identified as Garcia-Moreno, in the 49th Street area just prior to the attack and several citizens attempted to detain him after the attack.

Garcia-Moreno fled toward the beach, touching off a massive manhunt including helicopters and police dogs, but the suspect eluded capture and remained at large for nearly two years.

After continuously pursuing leads for almost two years to no avail, OCPD detectives got a break in the case in 2010 when the FBI Laboratory’s Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) positively matched DNA collected from the Ocean City rape victim in 2008 to a man convicted of burglary in Ft. Lauderdale.