By Catherine Hamilton
RIVERSIDE, CA — Riverside County Superior Court Judge Samuel Diaz sentenced *”AA—” to 30 years to life in prison for sexually abusing his granddaughter when she was younger than 10 years old.
*(NOTE: The Vanguard is not publishing the real names to protect the identity of the victim.)
The charges were brought against AA— on Jan. 1, 2015, and the jury trial began in Sept. 2021.
AA— was charged with four counts of sexual abuse under California Penal Code section 288.7(b), which outlines the prohibition of engaging in oral copulation or sexual penetration with a child under ten years of age. The imprisonment time for one violation of this penal code is 15 years to life.
Of the four total charges, Counts 1, 2, and 4 were concurrent. Given this concurrency, the total minimum sentence for AA— on these three counts was determined to be 15 years. The additional 15 years for a minimum sentence of 30 came from Count 3, which was separate from the other three. The years of imprisonment are to be served consecutively.
Even if AA— were ever to be released from prison, Judge Diaz said that he would be required to register as a sex offender, which could affect the jobs he could apply for and his interactions with minors.
Given AA—’s age, however, though not known exactly, it is likely that he will be in prison for the rest of his life, or would not have much time outside of it.
According to the judge, the victim has serious social anxiety as a consequence of being sexually abused by her grandfather. Additionally, she has had a decline in her mental health since the incident, and has likely been seeking professional help.
In addition to the sentencing, Deputy District Attorney Sara Beller filed a request for a new restraining order on behalf of the victim against AA—. The judge granted the request, and terminated the previous restraining order to issue a new criminal protective order.
The new restraining order prohibits AA— from contacting the victim or her family in any way, including mail, email, or through a third-party.
Deputy Public Defender Paulette Norman requested that the judge grant AA— a stay in working in prison because of his age, and because they did not know what kind of work he would be subjected to. A stay on work would allow AA— to not be subjected to the hours of work inmates are often required to do.
However, Judge Diaz said AA— was capable of working. He commented AA– was younger than himself, and looked perfectly healthy enough to work.
The victim’s family is still considering whether they will ask AA— to pay a restitution fee, and, if so, how much they will request. The judge brought up the fee, as he acknowledged that the victim likely had substantial therapy bills as a consequence of the social anxiety and decline in mental health she has experienced after being sexually abused.