SANTA ANA, CA -- An Orange County Superior Court judge cut 15 years off a sentence for a 20-year-old Santa Ana man convicted of sexually assaulting a 3-year-old girl.
Kevin Jonas Rojano-Nieto was convicted on Dec. 3, 2014 of one felony count of sexual intercourse or sodomy of a child 10 years or younger and one felony count of lewd acts upon a child under the age of 14.
The minimum sentence for the conviction is 25 years to life in state prison. But at the sentencing hearing on Friday, the court judge said the minimum sentence was unconstitutional because Rojano-Nieto did not "stalk or seek out the victim."
On June 4, 2014, Rojano-Nieto was playing video games in the garage of his home when a 3-year-old girl he is related to wandered into the area. At some point, he became sexually aroused by the toddler, pulled her pants down and assaulted her, according to officials at the Orange County District Attorney's Office.
During the assault, the girl's mother was looking for her and attempted to get into the garage, but it was locked. The mother then searched for her daughter in a neighbor's home. Rojano-Nieto is said to have put his hand over the girl's mouth to keep her from crying for her mother. He then made the toddler touch his penis.
Rojano-Nieto then unlocked the garage door and let her into the home where her mother found her. Moments later, her mother found out what happened when her daughter complained of pain.
The judge said while looking over the facts of Rojano-Nieto's case there were no indications that the attack was intentional. He added that the defendant "almost immediately" stopped and "realized the wrongfulness of his act."
The judge also cited a doctor's report that stated Rojano-Nieto had a difficult and abusive childhood that made him an "insecure, socially withdrawn, timid and extremely immature young man."
The prosecutor in the case will consider appealing the judge's sentence.
City News Service contributed to this report.
Judge cuts 15 years off sentence for man who sodomized toddler