Tuesday, June 23, 2015

People v. Rojas (Cal. Ct. App. - June 22, 2015)

"A Fresno County jury found Benjamin Rojas guilty of sexually abusing his young stepdaughter . . . . [and] was sentenced to 40 years to life in prison . . . . On or about August 6, 2011, Rojas’ wife awoke in the middle of the night and found herself alone in bed. After getting up and searching through the house, she located Rojas in her daughter’s room. He was naked, and her daughter was clothed only from the waist up. According to the mother’s trial testimony, the child accused Rojas of touching her vaginal area with his fingers. She also said that Rojas had previously molested her 'a few times.' . . . The jury deliberated for approximately one hour before finding Rojas guilty on all counts. He was thereafter sentenced to a total of 40 years to life in prison. The sentence was calculated as follows: As to Count 1, a mandatory term of 15 years to life. As to Count 2, a mandatory term of 25 years to life, to be served consecutively. The trial court imposed the middle term of 12 years for Count 3 . . . ."

The Court of Appeal reverses the conviction on Count 2 on ex post facto grounds.  Though the prosecution could retry Mr. Rojas again on this count were it to so choose.

We'll see if it does.  To say that we're hard core about molestation offenses is an understatement.  As demonstrated by the mandatory 40 years to life sentence here.