Man sentenced to life in prison in killing, rape of Reston teen

Nabra Hassanen's father, Mohmod Hassanen, gives a statement outside the Fairfax County Courthouse after Darwin Martinez-Torres was sentenced to life in prison without parole in the killing and rape of his daughter. (WTOP/Megan Cloherty)
Nabra Hassanen’s father, Mohmod Hassanen, gives a statement outside the Fairfax County Courthouse after Darwin Martinez-Torres was sentenced to life in prison without parole in the killing and rape of his daughter. (WTOP/Megan Cloherty) (WTOP/Megan Cloherty)
A person with a "Justice for Nabra" T-shirt ouside the Fairfax County Courthouse. (WTOP/Megan Cloherty)
A person with a “Justice for Nabra” T-shirt ouside the Fairfax County Courthouse. (WTOP/Megan Cloherty) (WTOP/Megan Cloherty)
photo shows a sign that says RIP Nabra with a rose
A vigil was held to remember Nabra Hassanen in Reston, Virginia June 21, 2017. (WTOP/Michelle Basch) ((WTOP/Michelle Basch))
FILE - In this Oct. 13, 2018, file photo, hundreds of friends and supporters of Nabra Hassanen, who was killed by a northern Virginia man, hold a rally outside the Fairfax County Courthouse in Fairfax, Va. A change-of-plea hearing has been set for Wednesday morning in Fairfax for Darwin Martinez-Torres of Sterling who has been charged in Hassanen's death. He is charged with capital murder in the 2017 slaying of 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen, who was killed as she walked back to a mosque with friends after a fast-food meal ahead of pre-dawn Ramadan services. (AP Photo/Matthew Barakat)
FILE – In this Oct. 13, 2018, file photo, hundreds of friends and supporters of Nabra Hassanen, who was killed by a northern Virginia man, hold a rally outside the Fairfax County Courthouse in Fairfax, Va. A change-of-plea hearing has been set for Wednesday morning in Fairfax for Darwin Martinez-Torres of Sterling who has been charged in Hassanen’s death. He is charged with capital murder in the 2017 slaying of 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen, who was killed as she walked back to a mosque with friends after a fast-food meal ahead of pre-dawn Ramadan services. (AP Photo/Matthew Barakat) (AP/Matthew Barakat)
(WTOP/Mike Murillo)
This undated image provided by the Hassanen family shows Nabra Hassanen in Fairfax, Va. Police in Fairfax, Va., said Monday, June 19, 2017, that "road rage" was to blame for the slaying of a 17-year-old muslim girl who was walking with friends to her mosque between Ramadan prayers this weekend. Police have not identified Hassanen, but her father confirmed she was the victim in Sunday's attack. (Courtesy Hassanen Family via AP)
This undated image provided by the Hassanen family shows Nabra Hassanen in Fairfax, Va. Police in Fairfax, Va., said Monday, June 19, 2017, that “road rage” was to blame for the slaying of a 17-year-old muslim girl who was walking with friends to her mosque between Ramadan prayers this weekend. Police have not identified Hassanen, but her father confirmed she was the victim in Sunday’s attack. (Courtesy Hassanen Family via AP)
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Nabra Hassanen's father, Mohmod Hassanen, gives a statement outside the Fairfax County Courthouse after Darwin Martinez-Torres was sentenced to life in prison without parole in the killing and rape of his daughter. (WTOP/Megan Cloherty)
A person with a "Justice for Nabra" T-shirt ouside the Fairfax County Courthouse. (WTOP/Megan Cloherty)
photo shows a sign that says RIP Nabra with a rose
FILE - In this Oct. 13, 2018, file photo, hundreds of friends and supporters of Nabra Hassanen, who was killed by a northern Virginia man, hold a rally outside the Fairfax County Courthouse in Fairfax, Va. A change-of-plea hearing has been set for Wednesday morning in Fairfax for Darwin Martinez-Torres of Sterling who has been charged in Hassanen's death. He is charged with capital murder in the 2017 slaying of 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen, who was killed as she walked back to a mosque with friends after a fast-food meal ahead of pre-dawn Ramadan services. (AP Photo/Matthew Barakat)
This undated image provided by the Hassanen family shows Nabra Hassanen in Fairfax, Va. Police in Fairfax, Va., said Monday, June 19, 2017, that "road rage" was to blame for the slaying of a 17-year-old muslim girl who was walking with friends to her mosque between Ramadan prayers this weekend. Police have not identified Hassanen, but her father confirmed she was the victim in Sunday's attack. (Courtesy Hassanen Family via AP)

A Northern Virginia man who pleaded guilty to raping and killing a Reston teen in what authorities called a “road rage” attack has been sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Darwin Martinez-Torres attacked 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen in June 2017 as she was walking back to a mosque with friends after a pre-dawn fast food meal ahead of Ramadan services.

Overall, the Fairfax County judge handed down eight life sentences in Hassanen’s murder, rape and abduction. That’s in line with a plea bargain Martinez-Torres struck last year, which required the judge to impose a sentence of life without parole, in exchange for taking the death penalty off the table.

Martinez-Torres’ defense attorney said Martinez-Torres has a history of abuse and brain injury and is cognitively impaired. The attorney said the Sterling man has apologized and taken responsibility for the crime.

During the sentencing hearing, Hassanen’s family did not speak or offer victim impact statements. As part of the plea bargain, Martinez-Torres agreed to answer any questions from Hassanen’s family.

Hassanen was part of a group of at least a dozen teens walking and riding bicycles back to the All Dulles Area Muslim Society mosque in Sterling from a nearby McDonald’s when Martinez-Torres drove up to the group, got into an argument and eventually got out of his car and chased down and bludgeoned Hassanen with a baseball bat.

Police said he then took her in his car to Loudoun County, where he raped her. After the girl died, he dumped her body in a pond near his home in Sterling, police said.

Outside the Fairfax County courtroom Thursday, Nabra Hassanen’s father, Mohmod Hassanen, told reporters he would always remember his daughter.

The teen’s death received widespread attention amid concerns her slaying was motivated by anti-Muslim sentiment. Prosecutors, though, said there was no evidence of a hate crime or that the killing was motivated by race or religion.

Martinez-Torres is a native of El Salvador. Immigration authorities say he was in the country illegally.

Hassanen’s killing prompted a series of nationwide vigils.

On what would have been Hassanen’s 18th birthday last spring, family and friends hosted a charity event that put together care packages for the homeless in D.C., which they said reflected her generous spirit.

(The Associated Press and Megan Cloherty contributed to this report).

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