By Darling Gonzalez
VENTURA, CA – Sentencing late last week here in Ventura County Superior Court was finalized for *DOE, who was found guilty of sexual assault of a child.
*(The Vanguard is not publishing the real name of the accused to protect the identity of the victim.)
Public Defender Melanie Miles and Deputy District Attorney Tom Steele agreed to the sentencing of DOE to 30 years in prison for charges of aggravated assault of a child and continuous sexual abuse.
The victim in the case was also present in the court to provide a victim impact statement.
PD Miles agreed, and the livestream was paused for the extent of the victim’s impact statement.
DDA Steele also asked the court to charge the accused with restitution, noting, “In addition to the other terms that are listed in the probation report [we are asking that] he be required to pay restitution for damages of pain and suffering of $100,000 which is a modest sum considering that other courts have upheld much higher amounts in almost a quarter of a million dollars for abuse that has gone on for a very similar amount of time.”
Steele added, “We are asking for that amount knowing that he may never have the ability to pay it because it will be something that will help exact further justice and if he does ever come into any kind of money, that that money will not line his pockets, but will go to the victim to help her in overcoming this for the rest of her life.”
In response to this request, PD Miles explained the accused accepted responsibility and understood that he will be sentenced to 30 years. However, PD Miles wanted some information provided on the probation report to be stricken.
She explained that the section where the victim’s mother mentions that she knew he molested his own daughter should be stricken because it was “beyond inflammatory” and “based on multiple levels of hearsay without any evidence from the actual proposed victim to back it up.”
PD Miles also described that those reports would follow the man to other future hearings and future parole hearings.
She then expressed, “I understand the People’s request for $100,000. I see the case that they cite. I would ask the court to impose less. I would also point out that in the case that they cite, it went on until the age of 23 and was already into adulthood and they were able to express how it was affecting them in adulthood. We are not at this stage here in this case, we are still in high school. I would ask the court to award $65,000.”
DDA Steele subsequently refuted PD Miles’ argument as he explained that the extent of abuse into adulthood was irrelevant and the amount requested was not unreasonable but rather modest due to the effects the accused had on the victim’s life.
After reviewing the facts, Judge Young sustained the objections by the defense and clarified that his focus on the case was solely centralized on the victim and not what might have happened to other people.
He hoped that this resolution would bring some closure to the victim and the family rather than being in trial where the victim would have to relive every event.
Judge Young concluded the case by speaking directly to the victim and stating, “It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. You showed great strength in being here and giving me those statements today. I think there’s nothing better than competing in athletics or dance or whatever else when people have friends and a normal life…don’t be shy asking for help…don’t be afraid to continue getting therapy and help…continue to be strong, you have your own life ahead of you…”
The man was sentenced to 30 years in prison, with a 20-year parole period after, was served with a no contact order, and was charged with $100,000 for the benefit of the victim.