From the Controversial Times: A convicted child rapist in California has had his sentence reduced from ’25 years to life’ to simply 10 years (possibly sooner with parole) because a judge found that Kevin Jonas Rojano-Nieto did not “consciously intend to harm” his three-year old victim.
According to The Orange County Register:
Rojano was playing video games in the garage of his Santa Ana home on June 4, 2014, when a 3-year-old girl, to whom he is related, wandered in to hang around, said Deputy District Attorney Whitney Bokosky. Rojano, who became sexually aroused by the child, pulled her pants down and assaulted her, Bokosky said.
The girl’s mother, meanwhile, tried to get into the garage as she looked for the child but realizing it was locked, started looking at a neighbor’s home, Bokosky said. This prompted the defendant, who had put his hands over the girl’s mouth to keep her from yelling for her mother, to have the child fondle him, Bokosky said.
Despite those facts, Orange County Superior Court Judge M. Marc Kelly, found that the normal sentence for raping a child was inappropriate in this case saying:
However, in looking at the facts of Mr. Rojano’s case, the manner in which this offense was committed is not typical of a predatory, violent brutal sodomy of a child case. Mr. Roiano did not seek out or stalk (the victim). He was playing video games and she wandered into the garage. He inexplicably became sexually aroused but did not appear to consciously intend to harm (the victim) when he sexually assaulted her.
The defendant almost immediately stopped and realized the wrongfulness of his act.
Although serious and despicable, this does not compare to a situation where a pedophilic child predator preys on an innocent child. There was no violence or callous disregard for (the victim’s) well-being.
The judge reduced the sentence despite the fact that child molesters have an extremely high recidivism rate. Overall, follow-up studies typically find sexual recidivism rates of 10%-15% after five years, 20% after 10 years, and 30%-40% after 20 years (see, Hanson, Morton, & Harris, 2003). However, those numbers are likely low because they only reflect cases where a predator was actually caught.
The Orange County Prosecutor’s office is considering appealing the decision.
A Facebook page calling for Judge Kelly to be removed from the bench has already garnered nearly 4,000 “Likes”.