Arlington, VA

A man is facing a possible 93-year prison sentence after being found guilty of raping an Arlington woman while she slept.

D.C. resident Ronald P. Berton, 37, was accused of crimes against two young Arlington women in 2008 and 2010. On Sept. 26, 2010, prosecutors say Berton entered unlocked first-floor apartment on the 2500 block of 20th Street N., where he found a woman sleeping. Berton raped the woman then stole items from the apartment and fled the scene. The woman, who had been drinking that night, did not wake up during the rape, but later woke up and found a condom next to her.

Arlington County Police used DNA to link Berton to a previous crime. According to prosecutors, Berton entered a Colonial Village apartment on the morning of Sept. 10, 2008. He took a meat cleaver from the kitchen, then went to the bedroom where a woman was sleeping. Berton forced the woman to remain in the bed while he exposed himself and masturbated, prosecutors said. He then stole items from the apartment and fled.

Police were able to link Berton to the 2008 crime via DNA left on the knife.

Yesterday a jury found Berton guilty on charges of rape, forcible sodomy, burglary and abduction with the intent to defile. Today the jury recommended a sentence of 93 years. His formal sentencing before an Arlington County Circuit Court judge is scheduled for April 6.

“We believe this was a dangerous predator who came to Arlington to prey on the young women of our community,” said Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Jennifer Clarke, who prosecuted the case along with fellow Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Cari Steel. “The police did a great job of linking these two cases, so we were successful in getting these convictions.”

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