MARTINEZ -- A Pittsburg man is facing a sentence of up to 98 years to life in prison after being convicted of raping his ex-girlfriend in her Concord home on her birthday earlier this year.
A Contra Costa jury deliberated for about two days before finding 31-year-old Cornelius McClendon guilty Tuesday of two counts of rape, and one count each of forced oral copulation and domestic violence assault. The jury acquitted McClendon, who acted as his own attorney, of attempted murder and dissuading a witness.
McClendon argued that he was innocent of all the charges.
"I did not rape my ex-girlfriend. I did not try to kill her," McClendon said in his closing argument.
"It's irritating and painful to be accused of this," he said. "I never thought it would get this far."
McClendon went to the victim's home uninvited on the eve of her 36th birthday and passed out drunk on her couch. The next morning, June 3, 2012, McClendon "flipped out," accusing his ex-girlfriend of having a new boyfriend as she was trying to kick him out of her residence, deputy district attorney Ryan Wagner said.
During the argument, McClendon choked the woman into unconsciousness, Wagner said. When she awoke, McClendon bound her hands with a computer cord, stuffed a T-shirt in her mouth, and sexually assaulted her.
Later that day, the victim went to a hospital and reported the attack. Wagner said her injuries were consistent with her account of what occurred.
McClendon and the woman had a history of domestic violence before the incident, according to the prosecutor.
McClendon is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 4.
Contact Malaika Fraley at 925-234-1684. Follow her at Twitter.com/malaikafraley.