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Judge: Sex Offender 'Didn't Intend to Harm' 3-Year-Old

Judge blames convict's 'dysfunctional' childhood, gives him just 10 years
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 8, 2015 11:34 AM CDT
Judge: Sex Offender 'Didn't Intend to Harm' 3-Year-Old
Stock image.   (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

(Newser) – Twenty-five years to life was the least amount of time Kevin Jonas Rojano-Nieto should have gotten under California law for sexually assaulting a 3-year-old girl. But an Orange County judge decided Friday that punishment was too draconian, instead sentencing the 20-year-old to just 10 years in prison, the Washington Post reports. Superior Court Judge Marc Kelly's reasoning? The perp—convicted Dec. 3 of sodomizing a child younger than 10 and lewd or lascivious acts with a minor—didn't mean to hurt her. "[This] is not typical of a predatory, violent, brutal sodomy of a child case," Kelly said, per the Orange County Register. "Mr. [Rojano] 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."

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The deputy DA agreed with just part of that, arguing that on June 4, 2014, the toddler—said by the Register to be related to Rojano-Nieto—entered the garage and that as Rojano-Nieto assaulted her, he covered her mouth when her mother tried to enter the locked garage and restarted the abuse once the mom left. That didn't seem to sway Kelly, who noted that Rojano-Nieto had grown up in a "dysfunctional" family with "disruption and abuse, making him an insecure, socially withdrawn ... and extremely immature young man with limited self-esteem." The judge added Rojano-Nieto has shown "extreme remorse" and that “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." (Read more child sex abuse stories.)

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