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The County of DuPage
Wheaton, Illinois

Press Release

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Appellate Court Affirms 100-year-Sentence in 2014 Home Invasion/Aggravated Criminal Sexual Assault

DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert B. Berlin announced today that the Second District Appellate Court of Illinois has affirmed the one-hundred-year sentence imposed by Judge Robert Miller upon Roberto Noyola-Espinal for forcing his way into a Lisle woman’s home and sexually assaulting her in 1999. On June 9, 2017, following a four-day-long bench trial, Judge Miller found Noyola-Espinal guilty of one count of Home Invasion and three counts of Aggravated Criminal Sexual Assault, all Class X Felonies. On December 8, 2017, Judge Miller sentenced Noyola-Espinal to an aggregate of one-hundred years in the Illinois Department of Corrections, three consecutive thirty-year terms for the three counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault and a consecutive ten-year term for home invasion He had remained in the DuPage County Jail on bond of $1 million with 10% to apply since returning to DuPage County in March, 2014. The victim in the case passed away after Noyola-Espinal was charged but before he went to trial.       

On February 7, 1999, Noyola-Espinal approached the then 63-year-old woman’s apartment in Lisle and knocked on her patio door. Thinking it was a friend of hers, the woman began to open the door. Once she realized she did not know the person knocking on the door, the woman attempted to close the door. Noyola-Espinal forced the door open however, and entered the apartment. Once inside the apartment, Noyola-Espinal physically and sexually assaulted the woman causing bruising, abrasions and a cut on her chin. Noyola-Espinal told her that he would come back and harm her if she called the police. He then fled the state, eventually settling in Mexico. The victim then went to her neighbor’s home and called the police. Following an investigation into the incident led by the Lisle Police Department, a DNA profile of the suspect was entered into the federal Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). The investigation of the assault continued throughout the years. In October 2013, Noyola-Espinal was arrested in Houston, Texas, for illegally re-entering the United States. A DNA sample taken from Noyola-Espinal at this time resulted in a CODIS hit on the DNA collected from the 1999 sexual assault Noyola-Espinal committed in Lisle. Noyola-Espinal was extradited from Texas and returned to DuPage County to face the charges. An investigation into the assault revealed that Noyola-Espinal had been deported from the United States in 1998 and that he had illegally returned to the United States just months before committing the Lisle sexual assault.    

In his appeal Noyola-Espinal claimed that the one-hundred-year sentence imposed upon him was excessive. The Appellate Court rejected Noyola-Espinal’s claim of excessive sentencing noting that the “trial court is in the best position to fashion a sentence that strikes an appropriate balance between the goals of protecting society and rehabilitating the defendant. Thus, we may not disturb a sentence within the applicable sentencing range unless the trial court abused its discretion.” In their decision, the Appellate Court found “no dispute that defendant was eligible for an aggregate sentence of 24 to 120 years” and that “the court sentenced defendant to an aggregate term that is 20 years shorter than the maximum. That sentence was not an abuse of discretion.”           

“After committing such a brutal crime, Mr. Noyola-Espinal thought he could avoid responsibility by fleeing the country,” Berlin said. “Seventeen years later justice caught up with him resulting in a well-deserved one-hundred-year sentence. His appeal was nothing short of a second attempt to avoid accountability for his actions and the resulting sentence. While the victim in this case lived long enough to see Mr. Noyola-Espinal charged for the crimes he committed against her, she unfortunately passed away prior to his guilty verdict and sentencing. Justice in DuPage County however, does not stop and will not be denied. I would like to thank the Appellate Court for their thorough review of Mr. Noyola-Espinal’s claims and for seeing through his attempt to minimize what he did to an innocent woman. I would also like to thank Assistant State’s Attorneys Jennifer Lindt and Michael Fisher for their outstanding efforts in proceeding to trial without the victim being present and securing a guilty verdict."               

Justice Hutchinson delivered the judgment of the court with Justices Birkett and Schostok concurring.   

Noyola-Espinal’s appeal was defended by Sean Kinsella of the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s Criminal Appeals Division.