A Stanislaus County judge on Wednesday sentenced a 40-year-old man to 20 years in prison for sexually abusing his two stepchildren over seven years.
The sentence for Julio Cesar Medina Reyes was part of a plea deal with prosecutors to avoid a trial. The defendant pleaded no contest to continuous sexual abuse of a child and committing lewd or lascivious acts with a child younger than 14.
Deputy District Attorney Beth O’Hara Owen said in court that Reyes first sexually abused one of his stepchildren from the age of 8 or 9 years old to the age of 12. She said the defendant repeatedly molested the child, about three times every three months.
The second victim was sexually abused at the age of 11, according to the prosecutor. The sex abuse of both children occurred from January 2005 through March 2012.
Superior Court Judge Linda McFadden told the defendant he will have to register as a sex offender once he is released from prison and could serve up to 10 years of parole. She also told him authorities can order continued confinement for him in a medical facility to receive mental health treatment if they feel it’s necessary.
The judge ordered Reyes not to try to contact the victims, and he will have to stay away from schools, parks or other places where children typically gather. Violating any of those terms could result in more prison time for the defendant.
Reyes has been in custody at the Stanislaus County Jail since he was arrested in March 2012.
The victims and their family were not in the court Wednesday. The prosecutor told the judge that the victims’ family had felt the possible sentence for Reyes’ charges was too much time in prison, but she explained to the family that the lengthy prison sentence is intended to protect the public as well as punish the defendant.
Bee staff writer Rosalio Ahumada can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209)578-2394. Follow him on Twitter @ModBeeCourts.