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Sunnyside man faces life sentence for attempted sexual assault

YAKIMA - Armando Cortez Lopez, 29, of Sunnyside could possibly serve a life sentence in prison for his recent conviction.

This past Tuesday he was convicted of attempted indecent liberties with forcible compulsion, according to officials with the Yakima County Superior Court.

Lopez last March approached a 64-year-old woman and grabbed her in a downtown Sunnyside alley with the intent to sexually assault her.

A witness interrupted the assault and followed Lopez to Pepe's Bakery in Sunnyside. The witness contacted Sunnyside police but officers were unable to locate the suspect inside the local business.

Police did, however, find his vehicle behind the bakery. A sweatshirt the witness said he had been wearing was located inside the vehicle and police entered the clothing item into evidence.

Lopez was considered a fugitive for approximately one week before he turned himself into authorities.

This past Tuesday he was convicted and a pre-sentence investigation is underway to determine his sentence, which could be life in prison due to the sexual nature of the crime.

Authorities say the minimum sentence that is within the standard range for a crime of this nature is between 38 and 51 months in prison.

If Lopez is released from prison after serving a lighter sentence, he will be supervised by the Department of Corrections for the remainder of his life, according to Yakima County Superior Court officials.

The conviction is Lopez's first strike under the Washington state three strikes law.

He is scheduled for sentencing on Thursday, Jan. 3.

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