NBC10 Philadelphia - Monique Braxton
Antonio Rodriguez was found guilty on Thursday for raping and murdering three women he met in Kensington in November and December 2010. NBC10's Monique Braxton was inside the courtroom as family members reacted to the verdicts..
A Philadelphia judge found the so-called "Kensington Strangler" guilty Thursday of strangling and murdering three women in the city's Kensington neighborhood.
Judge Jeffrey Minehart then sentenced Antonio Rodriguez to three consecutive life sentences without parole plus decades more behind bars for killing and raping Elaine Goldberg, 21; Nicole Piacentini, 35; and Casey Mahoney, 27.
Minehart found Rodriguez guilty on three counts each of first-degree murder, rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and abuse of corpse, according to court records.
Besides the consecutive life sentences for the murders, Rodriguez got 10 to 20 years for each rape charge, 10 to 20 years for each involuntary deviate sexual intercourse charge and one to two years for each abuse of corpse conviction. Those charges are to be served concurrently with the life sentences, according to District Attorney Seth Williams.
The non-jury murder trial for 23-year-old Rodriguez began Monday. Rodriguez was charged with killing three women he picked up for sex in the city's Kensington neighborhood in November and December 2010.
Rodriguez didn't speak at Thursday's sentencing.
Authorities say the victims -- Goldberg, Mahoney and Piacentini -- struggled with addiction and sometimes worked as prostitutes.
During the trial investigators said DNA evidence links Rodriguez to the killings.
Rodriguez's life was sparred after prosecutors earlier said that they wouldn't pursue the death penalty.
"My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Elaine Goldberg, Nicole Piacentini, and Casey Mahoney,” said Williams. “I cannot begin to imagine the pain you are going through, but I hope this verdict will give you some sense of justice.
"The city of Philadelphia is a little bit safer tonight now that Antonio Rodriguez will be spending the rest of his life behind bars."
Outside of the courtroom the victims' families hugged one another glad that the killer of their loved ones was never going to be free to hurt anyone else.
"Not only did (Rodriguez) defy them, rape them, strangle them but then he also continued to rape them after they passed away," said Goldberg's sister Careen Goldberg. "I like the way the judge put it to the defendant that he didn't even give them peace when they died that he continued to hurt them after they were gone."
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