By Jake Romero
DUBLIN, CA —Judge Kimberly Colwell sentenced “*John Doe” to more than 60 years in prison Friday at the East County Hall of Justice / Alameda County Superior Court.
*John Doe was found guilty of molesting his niece, starting when she was four years old and lasting until the age of 12. His other charges include supplying drugs to minors and possession of a firearm.
(NOTE: *John Doe is not the true name of the convicted party; The Vanguard won’t use the real name to protect the identity of the victim.)
The victim read her impact statement when the hearing began. She said the abuse made her feel isolated and alone while growing up and that she didn’t come forward sooner because she feared the truth would destroy her family.
“I was so young and so small when he decided to take away my chance of having the normal, carefree life that every child is supposed to have,” she said.
The victim also described the trial process and publicly recounting her story as “painful, humiliating and frustrating” at times because the defense claimed she had deliberately fabricated her story.
The victim requested that Judge Colwell give the maximum sentence to *John Doe.
The victim’s stepfather then read his impact statement. He also requested the maximum sentence, calling *John Doe “a predator and every parent’s worst nightmare—a wolf in sheep’s clothing.”
The victim’s mother, fighting back tears while reading her statement, described *John Doe’s crimes as “unforgivable” and lamented over her inability to notice the abuse.
Defense attorney Kellin Cooper argued against the aggravation factors of the offenses, claiming that the offenses did not indicate a high degree of cruelty and callousness or professionalism and sophistication. He requested concurrent sentences so that 65-year-old *John Doe does not die in prison.
During the prosecution’s rebuttal, Deputy District Attorney Margaret Calonge said the act of continuously molesting a child from the age where her memories first began to develop qualifies as vicious, cruel and callous. The abuse endured for eight years, according to Judge Colwell’s later comments.
“I don’t think that the court need have sympathy for whether or not the defendant dies in prison,” said DDA Calonge. “The fact that he was good to some people, and molested other people, is not a factor in litigation.”
She also said that *John Doe’s ability to evade detection for years speaks to the aggravating factor of professionalism and sophistication.
Judge Colwell said she was disappointed that *John Doe did not choose to give a statement because it was his opportunity to show remorse.
“As far as I can tell, from the record and the probation report, there is no remorse expressed and I find that troubling,” Judge Colwell said.
Judge Colwell imposed the maximum sentence of 15 years to life for each of the four sexual abuse counts and 19 years total for the remaining felony counts.
*John Doe’s restitution hearing is scheduled for Jan. 15, 2022, at the Wiley C. Manuel Courthouse in Oakland.