Monday, December 28, 2009

Restaraunt employee who raped 20 year old coworker sentenced to 6 years

A rapist who attacked his coworker was formally sentenced to 6 years in prison Thursday, December 17 by Otero County, NM Judge Sandra A. Grisham. Valente A. Hernandez Jr, 21, was sentenced to three years consecutively for two counts of criminal sexual penetration of a co worker on December 1, 2008. He was found guilty by an Otero County jury on November 19, 2009 on both counts.

Hernandez also will have to register as a sex offender, pay a $5000 fine, $100 in fees, and spend between 5 and 20 years on probation after serving at least 85% of his sentence. Judge Grisham recommended that the perp serve his sentence in a Las Vegas, NM prison where there is a sex offender treatmen program, and "take advantage of the therapeutic community program" offered there.

According to testimony during the trial, the victim saw Hernandez before getting a ride home from work by her male roommate on Nov. 30, 2008. Hernandez, the victim and the victim's roommate were coworkers at the same Alamogordo restaurant. The victim invited Hernandez over to her residence after speaking to him before leaving work late on Nov. 30, 2008.

During testimony in the two-day trial, the victim had admitted to Alamogordo Department of Public Safety detectives she had started drinking alcoholic beverages after arriving home.

The victim's roommate's girlfriend arrived a short time later, then her roommate went to his bedroom to go to sleep. Around 3 a.m. Dec. 1, 2008, Hernandez and another man arrived at the residence with their own alcoholic beverages. The man and victim continued to drink while Hernandez, the victim and man talked in the living room.

The man, who is a friend of Hernandez, left a short time later after drinking and talking in the living room with the victim and Hernandez. The victim said she passed out on the living room floor but woke up to find herself being assaulted by Hernandez.

Deputy District Attorney Peter Burns and Assistant District Attorney James Cowan, prosecuting, stated that "It is apparent Judge Grisham gave this a lot of thought. During the allocution, the court was very attentive and understood what the victim was asking for. And the court made an appropriate ruling."

Hernandez said before sentencing, "This night it happened I wasn't all there. I thought she consented to it. I am sorry for what happened. I am sorry to (the victim). I will have to live with this the rest of my life as will (the victim)."

Judge Grisham believed, even after meting out the 6 year sentence, that he was still minimizing his crimes."You are sorry for what happened and not sorry for what you did," she said.

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