Commonwealth v. Benjamin James Madonia; Jury Recommends Life in Prison in Cold Case Rape

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Colin D. Stolle, Commonwealth’s Attorney for the city of Virginia Beach, announced today that Benjamin James Madonia, 55 years old, formerly of the 400 block of South East Tomberlin Court in Lake City, Florida, was found guilty of Rape after a three-day jury trial.  The jury fixed his punishment at Life in prison.  Circuit Court Judge James C. Lewis, who presided over the trial, will formally sentence Madonia on August 15, 2016.

The Commonwealth’s evidence proved that on May 29, 1987, Benjamin James Madonia and the victim were both at the ocean front area of Virginia Beach.  The victim, who was here from Pennsylvania for the summer to work, left her waitressing job and met some friends for drinks and dancing at a local bar. She was 22 years old at the time.  When she left around midnight, Madonia approached her and offered her a ride home.  As soon as she entered Madonia’s car, she noticed that the passenger door had been modified. There was no interior door handle, preventing her from being able to open the door and exit the vehicle.  Instead of driving the victim home, Madonia drove her to a dark parking lot and began hitting and choking her.  Madonia sexually assaulted the woman repeatedly.  She was ultimately able to reach the driver’s side door handle and crawl out of the car.  The victim then ran to a nearby apartment complex and called for help.  A resident called 911 and the police responded within minutes; however, Madonia was not apprehended. 

The victim immediately went to the hospital where a Physical Evidence Recovery Kit (PERK) was taken.  At this time, DNA testing was not available.  The PERK was sent to the Department of Forensic Science (DFS), but due to the limited testing available in the 1980s, a suspect was not able to be identified.  The PERK was sent back to the Virginia Beach Police Department and stored in their Property and Evidence Division.  In 2014, the victim’s PERK was resubmitted to DFS to determine whether DNA testing would reveal a suspect.  By 2014, Benjamin Madonia’s DNA was in the DFS database due to another crime he committed.  The DNA profile from the victim’s PERK matched Madonia’s DNA. 

Madonia has prior convictions for Criminal Sexual Conduct, Grand Theft, Aggravated Assault with Weapon, Burglary, False ID to Officer, Resisting Arrest, Robbery, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (2 counts), Possession of Controlled Substance, Burglary-1st Degree, Grand Larceny, Breaking into Auto or Fuel Tank, DUI, and Drive with Suspended Operator’s License. 

Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorneys Julie L. Fink and C. Andrew Rice prosecuted this case. Please contact Macie Allen if additional information is desired.