Judge says mandatory sentence for man convicted of raping toddler too harsh, cuts prison time

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LOS ANGELES — A man convicted of sexually assaulting a 3-year-old girl will see 10 years in prison — down from at least 25 — after a judge decided the minimum mandatory sentence was too much, and should be considered “cruel and unusual punishment.”

A jury found Kevin Jonas Rojan-Nieto, 20, guilty of having sexual intercourse with a child 10 years or younger and committing  a lewd act with a minor under 14, KTLA reports.

According to KTLA, the minimum sentence for the case is 25 years to life in prison. However, Orange County Superior Court Judge M. Marc Kelly sentenced Rojan-Nieto to just 10 years in prison, saying that 25 years to life was cruel and unusual punishment under the U.S. Constitution.

According to the Register, the 3-year-old girl wandered into a garage where Rojano-Nieto was playing video games. The man became sexually aroused and assaulted the girl, KTLA reports.

The judge felt that the circumstances surrounding the incident merited a different sentence.

“Although serious and despicable, this does not compare to a situation where a pedophiliac child predator preys on an innocent child,” Kelly told the Orange County Register. “There was no violence or callous disregard for (the victim’s) well-being.”

Kelly contined with the Register:

“In looking at the facts of Mr. Rojano’s case, the manner in which this offense was committed is not typical of a predatory, violent brutal sodomy of a child case,” Kelly said. “Mr. Rojano did not seek out or stalk (the victim). He was playing video games and she wandered into the garage. He inexplicably became sexually aroused but did not appear to consciously intend to harm (the victim) when he sexually assaulted her,” the newspaper reported.

The prosecutor’s office was expected to discuss an appeal of the judge’s sentence, according to the Register.

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86 comments

  • Lily Lewis

    that the judg that the judge decided that that the child was in the wrong place and the wrong time and that’s why she got raped and because he didn’t rape her violently I don’t even know how he didn’t think these two go together. so while he was juking into her that wasn’t violent enough against their will you think she thought it was OK . ,maybe we need to look into the judge’s background

    • alice smith

      “maybe we need to look into the judge’s background”
      I agree! It’s obvious this so called ‘judge’ doesn’t view this horrendous crime against this child as that serious, which means, he’s morally corrupt himself. I would hope that the people work to rid themselves of this judge and see that he looses his position. He has no right to judge anything if he’s this corrupt.

      • Lyn

        This is our fault…Yes, yours & mine. We should be protesting outside this courthouse for days. We should be bombarding the prosecutor’s office to demand an appeal to this decrease in sentencing. And, when we do not act up; act out regarding crimes such as this, we are complicit in my opinion!

  • sarita rodriguez

    How cruel is it that this monster sexually asaulted a baby. That child will never be the same physically or mentally. Now thats cruel serving 10 years really seriously for basically taking the life of child. Where is the justice for the child or does that life not matter. That monster will get out prison and commit the same crime again. The child will be in theraphy her whole life and that a monster created.

  • tracy morgan

    Is judge kelly for real? He is worried about the defendant and his future, what about that poor child. By reducing this mans sentence he is condoning his behavior. By letting this man out 15 years early one can only imagine how many more lives he will distroy…
    Judge Kelly time for you to step down before YOU distroy any more lives!!!

  • Julie

    This is so wrong on so many levels. He gets ten years, meanwhile this poor child has to live with this the rest of her life. Trust me, that pain, the nightmares, the images will NEVER go away.

  • Mike Par

    When you have celebrities like Whoopi Goldberg in reference to the Roman Polanski case saying “Well it wasn’t rape rape” this does not surprise me. For those who who are not familiar with the case Roman Polanski a famous director drugged, sodomized and raped a 13 yr old girl and then fled the country to avoid prosecution

    • Watcher

      To a small extent that makes sense. A person who violently rapes someone should get more time than someone who does not cause as much damage. A person who tracks down a child, plans it out, and hurt them, should get more time. And no, I am not saying rape is good, I am saying just like any crime, some rape is absolutely worse than others.

      • Glare

        But you don’t help any rape victim by saying so. We have different degrees of sexual assault recognized in the American judicial system. That’s all you need to worry about. Parsing the severity and pitting victims’ experiences against one another makes rape victims feel bad and leads to irrelevant judgments like Whoopi Goldberg’s, which your position supports. Is it worse when you’re the sudden victim of a stranger or when a loved one violates your trust? Is it worse to plan to take advantage of someone compromised by drugs or to force yourself on someone ignoring their no’s and never thinking of yourself as a rapist? Someone who fights back and gets hurt isn’t different than the person who freezes and waits for everything to be over before getting away. Remember that’s the advice we hear about thieved: toss your wallet or purse next to the perp to create distance, empty the register and speak calmly, don’t follow the thief and risk your safety. What makes a rape a rape? That’s all.

  • M

    The minimum sentence should be at least 25 years. The judge is not being fair to the victim at all by not delivering proper justice to the predator.

  • Jennifer Peace

    Prosecute the judge for being an idiot and accomplice after the fact! Clear negligence and dereliction of duty on his part. Get him off the bench and put him in the same cell as the child molester and give them both 25 to life!

  • mary1961

    The state legislature sets out wide parameters for each crime. It is then the judges’ obligations to weigh the aggravating and mitigating factors, and choose a sentence within those parameters. That is what happened here. If you don’t like that there is such a choice – a discretion that judges can exercise – please feel free to run for state senate or assembly.

    • Eveleen

      Yes, and those mitigating factors were underestimating the medical trauma of sodomy on a toddler and failure to recognize sexual violence as violence. Superior court judges are appointed. Certainly pressure from local and state officials, as well as the general public, is an appropriate response.

      • Michael

        Clearly, regardless of the “parameters” This Judge categorically failed to recognize the physical,emotional short term and long term trauma inflicted on this child and the vacarious victims in this haneous crime, furthmore the judge in his impaired judgement failed to recognize a predator/pedophile and dangerous offender in his sentencing as well…

    • Lyn

      @Mary1961..Bravo Mary for that tidbit. The judge not only is garbage for not handing down the mandatory minimum he is worthy of an investigation. The words he was quoted as using makes him seem like a predator as well. This judge and the child rapist should be sent to the same prison. Unfortunately, in this society we continually leave ‘justice’ up to those inmates already incarcerated: they will hand out justice in a way this rapist will remember for years to come

  • Michael

    The dishonorable Judge M.Mark Kelly is out of favor with the Judicial system he swore to uphold as a sworn officer. He is clearly incompetent and his judgement impaired and should be removed from office immediately and disciplinary action should follow that Mr. Judge Kelly be banned for life from applying for any position public or otherwise in a position of authority.

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