By Josué Monroy
WOODLAND – The defense attorney for Alezandro Ramirez here last week in Yolo County Superior Court argued for the judge to mitigate the sentencing in a statutory rape case, citing the defendant’s Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and intellectual disability.
Jesse Ortiz, the defendant’s private attorney, addressed the court on behalf of his client in front of Judge David Rosenberg in Department 14, feeling it was necessary for the court to know more about Ramirez’s mental state and health in finalizing sentencing and probation terms.
“He truly understands the seriousness of what happened, and that it was wrong. I raise that, because the probation report has no indication of that,” said Ortiz, addressing Judge Rosenberg.
Ramirez, 21, was charged with statutory rape of a minor three or more years younger than him, a felony. He contacted the minor, leading them to believe he was also a minor, and they subsequently engaged in sexual intercourse on various occasions.
During the hearing, it was not clear under what circumstances the defendant was charged with the crime.
In his statement to the court, Ortiz alleged that, while Ramirez had finished high school, he had been in special education classes throughout his schooling. Ortiz revealed that he had referred Ramirez to Alta California Regional Center for evaluation, where he was diagnosed with ADHD and mild intellectual disability. The evaluation also observed that the defendant’s IQ test results came back extremely low, at 69.
“I don’t say that to excuse what happened, but to determine the appropriate level of incarceration and subsequent probation,” Ortiz continued.
As they stood, the terms of sentencing and probation required Ramirez to serve 180 days in custody, and be on probation for three years. Counsel Ortiz asked the judge to not follow those recommendations, and submitted that the six days his defendant had spent in custody after his arrest were sufficient as time served.
However, if that was not possible, Ortiz asked the court to impose the minimum time required and that Ramirez do community service as an alternative.
The defense also asked that his client not be required to pay for court appointed programs that are part of his sentence, as is usually the case, because of his very limited income. Ramirez lives at home with his parents, and works with his father.
Deputy District Attorney David Robbins was not convinced by the defense’s argument, and reiterated the seriousness of the charges.
Robbins argued that the defendant contacted the victim through Snapchat and brought her to a house to have sex, engaging in it multiple times, including attempted anal sex.
“The defendant did lie and did have sex multiple times with the minor, [and] it was not just vaginal sex. I don’t think that time served is appropriate in this case, I think probation considered all these circumstances in giving the 180 days. As far as alternative sentencing, that is up to the sheriff,” noted Robbins.
After hearing the arguments, Judge Rosenberg ruled that the 180-day sentence was appropriate. He did, however, make the defendant eligible for alternative programs to serving jail time, at the discretion of the sheriff’s office. The court was also willing to make adjustments to the defendant’s fees, but needed proof of his financial hardship.
“Mr. Ramirez you’re a young man, you’ve got a lot of living ahead of you. You have to pay your debt to society, and then move on, so good luck to you, sir,” concluded Judge Rosenberg, addressing the defendant.
To sign up for our new newsletter – Everyday Injustice – https://tinyurl.com/yyultcf9