By Susana Jurado
FRESNO, CA – Charged with the felony count of false imprisonment of his ex-partner and a misdemeanor of endangering his own infant son, a man was released on probation after 80 days in jail by the Fresno Superior Court Wednesday.
According to the District Attorney’s Office, the misdemeanor child endangerment charge against defendant Alejandro Montoya stemmed from a July 31, 2019, incident when Fresno Police Department officers responded to a call about a domestic disturbance.
Upon arrival, as the primary officer attempted to obtain a statement from the alleged victim, police officers on the scene noticed that Montoya was intoxicated and under the influence while he was holding his infant child.
Montoya attempted to flee on foot with his child in arms. As officers tried to stop Montoya from leaving, with his child in his arms he assaulted one officer and pushed her against the wall in order to prevent the officer from trying to take his son away from him. The officer sustained an abrasion over her right eye.
As to the false imprisonment charge, Montoya pleaded no contest. He allegedly detained his ex-partner and her 15-year-old daughter using forceful violence, on May 26, 2020.
Public Defender Brendan Berg, sitting on behalf of Montoya. asked for credit for time served and felony probation.
He said, “My client is young, youthful, these appear to be the only convictions that Mr. Montoya has. He does have a job lined up working in construction when he is released. He does understand the protective orders that are going to be in place going forward. He knows that in order to seek contact with his son, he’s going to need some significant steps…going to family court then by following through with the remaining balance of probations and recommendations and the court’s orders here today.”
Prosecutor Kendall Reynolds, speaking for the victim, noted that the victim asked for parenting classes for the reasons that she deeply cares about the relationship between Montoya and their son.
But Reynolds added, “He was placed on pretrial release for a period of time and that was revoked based on unwanted illegal contact or harassment on behalf of the victim. I am prepared to ask the court to impose the full 365 days for accountability. The victim certainly wants accountability and though she understands that any time away from their son could be detrimental, she certainly wants Mr. Montoya to know that there is a consequence for the things that he has done.”
Fresno Superior Court Judge Glenda Allen Hill gave her own comments as she issued her rulings, stating, “And I would agree that there are consequences for Mr. Montoya’s behavior. And I hope that he has learned those consequences by the time that he has spent in custody.
“Certainly your behavior in the misdemeanor case put that minor at significant risk; fortunately, the minor was not hurt seriously, but the officer was injured,” Judge Allen Hill commented further as she imposed 160 days in custody and a number of minimum restitution fines ordered to be paid within the first month of his release.
Because of Montoya’s lack of criminal history before both these incidents and his already 80 days in jail,, the court found it sufficient to release him and impose three years of formal felony probation in order to hold him accountable and rehabilitate him for the felony charge.
To help ensure no further criminality takes place, this ruling included a mandatory 12-week parenting class, a requirement to enroll and participate in a substance abuse evaluation and treatment program recommended by probation, a 52-week batterer intervention program, as well as imposed drug and alcohol ban terms.
As to the misdemeanor, the court ruled that he should receive credit for time served but did issue a protective order for all the victims, the ex-partner, her 15-year-old daughter, and their infant child.
The only option for Montoya to be in contact with his son is if family or juvenile court rules that he is allowed to do so. Until that order, he is not permitted to come near any of the victims in both cases.
During the hearing, the alleged victim refused to speak on the case in court.
Judge Allen Hill set the review hearing date to December 2, 2020, at 8:30 am. If Montoya does not comply, a warrant for his arrest would be issued and he would be obligated to complete 40 hours of community service.
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