Va. Man Faces 50 Years After First-Degree Rape Conviction

SNOW HILL — A Virginia man, arrested in June on first-degree rape and other charges following an incident in Ocean City in May, was found guilty last week in Worcester County Circuit Court after a two-day jury trial and now faces up to 50 years in jail for the combined convictions.

On May 25, Ocean City police detectives responded to Atlantic General Hospital and met with the victim of an alleged sexual assault. Through the investigation, detectives learned the victim and a group of friends were at an Ocean City nightclub earlier where they ran into acquaintances from their hometown in Virginia.

Eventually, the group along with their newfound acquaintances returned to a hotel room together where they continued to consume alcoholic beverages and became intoxicated. In the early morning hours, members of the group including the suspect, identified as Romer Ortuno, 29, of Springfield, Va. left the hotel room while the victim was asleep.

However, Ortuno allegedly returned to the hotel and entered the room through an unlocked window and reportedly raped the victim. Ocean City Police detectives obtained an arrest warrant for Ortuno, charging him with first-degree rape and first-degree burglary. On May 27, Ortuno was arrested at his home in Virginia by local authorities.

Following a two-day trial last week in Worcester County Circuit Court, Ortuno was acquitted of the first-degree rape charge, but was found guilty by the jury on multiple other counts including second-degree rape, first- and third-degree burglary, a third- and fourth-degree sex offense and second-degree assault.

The second-degree rape conviction and the first-degree burglary conviction each carry a maximum penalty of 20 years, while the third-degree sex offense conviction carries a maximum sentence of 10 years. The third-degree burglary, fourth-degree sex offense and second-degree assault convictions will be merged with the other counts for the purpose of sentencing, which was deferred pending the outcome of a pre-sentence investigation.

Sentencing has been set for Feb. 13.