Lancaster man convicted of strangling his girlfriend during June 2018 attack

LANCASTER — A Lancaster County jury convicted a Lancaster man Wednesday of a felony strangulation charge stemming from an attack on his girlfriend last summer on a city street, according to the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office.

Jose I. Velez, 45, will be sentenced after a background investigation, the DA’s Office says. Velez was convicted in spite of a lack of cooperation from the victim, who contradicted what she told police after the attack when interviewed by prosecutors.

The incident occurred on June 11, 2018, on the 400 block of South Lime Street.

According to testimony from an eyewitness, Velez was seen strangling the victim, causing her to go limp. The eyewitness intervened, yelling at Velez to stop, and engaged in a short, physical confrontation with Velez, who then fled.

The victim gave a written statement at the scene which was consistent with the eyewitness’ testimony, prosecutors say.

On the witness stand, however, she recanted that statement and attempted to offer a new version of events.

Lancaster County President Judge Dennis Reinaker returned a guilty verdict Wednesday after hearing a morning of testimony. Reinaker will order sentence in about two months.

Velez was found not guilty of assault of the eyewitness who intervened.

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