“That means you’re going to prison Mr. Morales, and you certainly deserve to go to prison.” Those were the words of First District Court Judge Thomas Bibus as he sentenced Valentin Fuerte Morales, 37, of Red Wing, to eight years in prison for the assault of an eight-year-old girl and making sexual contact with her nine-year-old sister.
Morales had a “significant relationship” over the girls, meaning that he lived with the girls at the time of the assaults. Over a year of molestation ended when the girls’ father discovered the abuse and called the authorities.
At his sentencing hearing, Morales suggested that he serve a year in jail for the crimes he committed. The state prosecutor argued for a stiffer sentence that would put Morales in jail for ten years or more. Although Morales will serve only eight years in prison, he is an illegal immigrant and will immediately be deported upon release.
Types of Sexual Assault
The state of Minnesota criminalizes many different types of sexual misconduct. Because Morales had a “significant relationship” with the girls, and because his victims were under 13, he was charged and convicted of first degree criminal sexual conduct, which also means that there was proof of penetration.
Second degree criminal sexual conduct involves sexual contact with a minor and includes some of the same elements as first degree criminal sexual conduct. Third degree criminal sexual conduct includes penetration as an element of the crime and can also apply to sexual attacks committed in a therapeutic setting, such as medical staff initiating sexual contact with their patients. Any nonconsensual act is a gross misdemeanor and classified as fifth degree criminal sexual conduct.
Working With an Experienced Attorney
The penalties for sex crimes can be extensive. If convicted of first degree criminal sexual conduct, you face a Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Sentence of 12 years (144 months) and a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and up to a $40,000 fine. Convictions for criminal sexual conduct may also require sex offender registration, sometimes even a lifetime registration requirement. If you have been charged with any type of sex crime, it is important to immediately contact an experienced attorney who can protect your rights and your freedom.