gavel

By Abby Phillip
April 7, 2015 at 4:48 PM

In December, a jury convicted 20-year-old Kevin Jonas Rojano-Nieto of sexually assaulting a 3-year-old girl. In California, that charge comes with a minimum sentence of 25 years to life.

But in a surprise ruling, an Orange County judge has said that the sentence was too harsh. So instead, Rojano-Nieto will serve a 10-year prison sentence.

Despite the fact that Rojano-Nieto was convicted of crimes against a toddler — at one point covering the girl’s mouth so her mother couldn’t hear her cries — Orange County Superior Court Judge M. Marc Kelly said on Friday that Rojano-Nieto didn’t intend to harm the girl, according to the City News Service:

“However, 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 defendant “almost immediately” stopped and “realized the wrongfulness of his act,” Kelly said.

The judge went on to blame Rojano-Nieto’s own “dysfunctional” upbringing for his “inexplicable” assault on the child.

He noted that Rojano-Nieto’s life had featured “family disruption” that made him “an insecure, socially withdrawn, timid, and extremely immature young man with limited self-esteem.”

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