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Six Sonoma County crime victims honored

Lorraine Thompson endured a sexual assault in her Rohnert Park home at age 81, followed by a lengthy, investigation that lead to the conviction of her assailant.

The inquiry was "intrusive," Deputy District Attorney Tania Partida said Tuesday, and Thompson, now 85, "endured it with grace and determination."

"You are truly a role model for other strong women," Partida told the white-haired woman at a Crime Victims' Rights Week event at the Family Justice Center on Mendocino Avenue in Santa Rosa.

"She is an inspiration to all," Rohnert Park Detective John Gilson said.

Thompson was one of the six local crime victims commended before a crowd of about 300 people that included county supervisors, law enforcement officials and victims' advocates.

A victim identified only as Claudia was nine months pregnant when she was beaten and sexually assaulted in June, 2011 in Santa Rosa.

Officials said she "bravely sought justice for herself and her son," who witnessed the attack.

Nicole Eskenazi, who did not come to the podium, was choked and threatened with death by her abusive boyfriend in June, but stood firm in her testimony, prompting his guilty plea to all charges, Deputy District Attorney Traci Carrillo said.

Reading from Eskenazi's own account, Carrillo said the drunken beatings "got so bad I thought of killing myself."

But now, Eskenazi's statement said, "not even the sky is the limit for me. I don't consider myself a victim."

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