A 50-year-old Ceres man who faced up to 25 years to life in prison has been sentenced to eight years behind bars for failing to register as a sex offender.
Ricardo Solis received the eight-year sentence on Oct. 30, the Stanislaus County District Attorney's Office announced Friday in a news release. Prosecutors said Solis was eligible for the 25-years to life prison sentence under the state's "Three Strikes" law because of his violent criminal history.
In 1985, Solis was convicted of rape. Prosecutors said Solis in 1999 assaulted two people; one of the victims suffered a skull fracture. Solis was later convicted of two counts of assault with a deadly weapon causing serious injury and was sentenced to 18 years in prison.
After serving that prison sentence, Solis failed to check-in with parole agents. Solis was later arrested on suspicion of violating his parole. The parole agents notified Ceres police in March that Solis was in custody and he probably didn't comply with his annual requirement to register as a sex offender.
Solis' rape conviction required him to register his home address with a local law enforcement agency each year within five business days of his birthday. Ceres police investigated and determined Solis had not registered at all since Sept. 30, 2015.
When questioned, Solis told investigators that he knew he was required to register. Prosecutors said Solis told the investigators he chose not to register, because he knew he had an arrest warrant for violating parole and didn't want to return to prison.
A jury after a one-day trial on Aug. 30 found Solis guilty of failing to register as a sex offender, which is a felony crime. Deputy District Attorney Erin Peck prosecuted the latest case against Solis.
Prosecutors said each of Solis’ prior convictions qualified as serious or violent felonies under the “Three Strikes” law, making him eligible for life in prison.
At the Oct. 30 sentencing hearing, Peck argued that a life sentence was appropriate for a violent sex offender because of his prior convictions and his disregard of the registration law and parole requirements.
The Stanislaus County Public Defender's Office represented Solis and argued that a life sentence would be cruel and unusual punishment for failing to register as a sex offender, according to prosecutors.
Judge Ricardo Córdova chose not to hand down the maximum sentence. Instead, he sentenced Solis to eight years in prison. Solis on Sunday remained at the county jail awaiting transfer to a prison.