By Leila Katibah
SANTA BARBARA, CA – After being found guilty of a felony charge of dissuading a victim of a crime from participating or testifying in a criminal investigation, ”DavidX” was sentenced to nine years in prison here Wednesday in Santa Barbara County Superior Court.
Note: “DavidX” is not the accused’s real name, which The Vanguard is not using to protect the identity of minor-aged victims.
The accused was also convicted of the misdemeanor charges of willful cruelty to a child, contempt of court, and resisting arrest, by conditional plea roughly a month prior to the sentencing hearing Wednesday.
Judge Brian Hill of the Santa Barbara County Superior Court renewed a pre-existing no contact order between the accused and the two victims, also his children.
Defense attorney Megan M. Behrens stated there have been calls between the accused and victim from jail and that “it’s clear [the victim] does encourage contact and want contact.”
“Apparently not enough to come to court and ask for it,” interjected Deputy District Attorney Hannah L. Meyer, concerned that he was already in violation of the no contact order.
Defense attorney Megan M. Behrens requested the accused be permitted to have peaceful phone calls because of his lengthy prison sentence, but Judge Hill noted because there wasn’t anything in writing from the victim expressing her wishes, the no contact order will remain for now.
The man’s nine-year sentence is the result of a two-year midterm for the felony charge of dissuading a witness, “doubled by virtue of the admission of the prior strike to four years,” stated Judge Hill, adding the accused admitted a prior conviction, and he subsequently imposed a five-year sentence for that enhancement, resulting in a total of nine years in state prison.