By Gracy Joslin
SACRAMENTO, CA – Jose Moreno—convicted in 2012 of 20 felonies related to stalking, wiretapping and burglary, among other charges, and now—representing himself—argued to the judge last week in Sacramento County Superior Court that he is entitled to items confiscated by police when he was arrested a decade ago.
Deputy District Attorney Michelle Restrepo refuted this claim, arguing he is not entitled to the stolen items and all others that were used in the crime of stalking.
The most notable items listed by Moreno include a flip camera used to unlawfully record the victim, spyware purchased with the “intent” to commit a crime, and a computer component used to store information obtained illegally by placing a camera and sound recording device in the victim’s home, allegedly violating her right to privacy.
Judge Ernest W. Sawtelle noted he has the “unique ability to draw on the court’s own recollection of this case” since he presided over this trial and therefore is aware of the evidence regarding the items used to perpetrate the crime of stalking and traumatizing the victim.
DDA Restrepo requested that additional items such as the victim’s personal items, which Moreno allegedly stole and were collected during his arrest, be destroyed as well.
The items referenced included the victim’s underwear, bikini strips with hair, and used condoms that were dated and stored in plastic bags, in addition to a lock-picking kit Moreno ordered to his place of work.
After hearing the arguments of both parties, the judge said that “for all the years I have been doing this work, specifically these trials, I have yet to see a case where a defendant was more clever … (but I) don’t mean that in a good way…”
Noting the “extremely concerning” and “sick” acts of Moreno, Judge Sawtelle ruled in favor of the prosecution and ordered the majority of items obtained during Moreno’s arrest be destroyed.