Monday, January 26, 2009

Go to jail, do not pass go

I don't know what a Nueces County jury would have given him but here in Comal County they would have most likely given him life in prison.

No, I am not kidding.

Man gets 25 years in sex case plea
By Mary Ann Cavazos

— A 28-year-old man took a 25-year prison sentence on Wednesday for molesting three children to avoid having a Nueces County jury decide his fate.

Jurors in Jose Valdez's trial already had heard testimony from four witnesses including the detective who took his confession and a forensic psychiatrist when Valdez agreed to a plea deal.

Valdez pleaded guilty to six counts-- three for aggravated sexual assault of a child and three for indecency with a child, before visiting Judge Robert Pate.

As part of the agreement, Valdez was sentenced to 25 years on each aggravated sexual assault count and 20 years on each indecency count. The sentences will run concurrently.

Valdez originally was declared incompetent in late 2007 and committed to a state hospital. But last summer, he was re-evaluated and found fit to stand trial, according to court records.

Prosecutor Sandra Caggiano said the plea deal ensured Valdez would go to prison and spared his victims, one as young as 5, from having to testify. Relatives of the victims approved of the agreement, she added.