Sonora, CA – 43-year-old Rocco Costanza was sentenced to 37 years to life in prison on Tuesday in Tuolumne County. Costanza was convicted of attacking and beating a couple that was walking their dog in June of last year, one block from their home in downtown Sonora.
“Justice was served in this case,” says Assistant District Attorney Laura Krieg who prosecuted the case.
Krieg says at the trial evidence showed that Costanza appeared to be squatted down talking to a tree when the couple approached. As they got closer, he turned around and started making gorilla noises and movements before charging at the couple. The female was picked up and thrown into the street and when the man tried to help her Costanza picked him up and slammed his head into the sidewalk repeatedly rendering him unconsciousness according to Krieg. Costanza already has two convictions for robbery and had served two prison terms. Also, three months before this assault, Costanza was convicted of terrorist and criminal threats. His sentencing came under the States three strikes and you’re out law.
Krieg says, “At the sentencing, it showed that this was an individual that had a significant violent history. This was an individual that was not showing any signs of rehabilitation and that really needed to be taken out of the community.”
Costanza was charged with Battery Causing Serious Bodily Injury to the male victim, and Assault by Means of Force Likely to Cause Great Bodily Injury to the female victim. Prosecutors say Costanza had never met the couple. He will be eligible for parole in 29 years.