POMONA (CBSLA.com) — A 19-year-old man convicted of raping and assaulting a clerk at an El Monte convenience store faces up to 125 years to life in state prison, officials from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said.

A jury deliberated for less than two hours Friday before convicting Joseph Leo Amaya of El Monte of two counts each of forcible rape and sexual penetration by a foreign object and one count of assault with intent to commit a felony.

Jurors also found true an allegation of aggravated kidnapping.

The convenience store clerk, who was 19 at the time, was approached by Amaya, who unsuccessfully tried to get her phone number before leaving the store last Oct. 19, according to Deputy District Attorney Cynthia Valenzuela.

Amaya returned hours later to the store as the woman was getting ready to close the shop, the prosecutor said.

As she tried to lock the store’s doors, Amaya forced his way in, barricaded the store entrance, dragged the woman by her hair to the back of the store and sexually assaulted her, according to the prosecutor.

Amaya was arrested about a week later after police received tips from the community.

Surveillance video and audio, along with DNA evidence, linked Amaya to the crime, authorities said.

Amaya is scheduled to return to court for sentencing Sept. 22.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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