Kevin Jonas Rojano-Nieto is a 20-year-old California man who, on December 3, was convicted of raping a three-year-old toddler — a little girl who is a member of his family. The jury had no trouble convicting Rojano-Nieto of the unspeakable crime, but when it came time to hand down the child-rapist's sentence, a judge decided to cut the guy a break.
California's mandatory sentencing statutes require a sentence of 25 years to a maximum of life in prison for the crime of sexual intercourse with a child under 10, and Rojano-Nieto was convicted on that charge, as well as charges of lewd and lascivious acts with a minor.
But Orange County Superior Court Judge M. Marc Kelly figured that the mandatory 25-year minimum, in this case, would actually violate the United States Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
Kelly then sentenced the Santa Ana, California, man to just 10 years behind bars.
The case is reminiscent of a 2013 case in Montana in which a judge sentenced a teacher convicted of having sex with an underage girl who later committed suicide to only 30 days.
On June 4 of last year, Rojano-Nieto was sitting in the garage of his home in Santa Ana playing video games when the three-year-old girl — who prosecutors said was related to the man, though the specific relationship was not revealed — strolled in.
For some sick reason, the 20-year-old became sexually aroused by the toddler. He then pulled the little girl's pants down and, according to the prosecutors, sodomized her.
The girl's mother went looking for her daughter but when she tried the garage door, she found it locked. What she didn't know was that behind the door, Rojano-Nieto was silencing the girl with a hand over her mouth.
He then forced the child to fondle his genitals.
Afterward, he unlocked the door and the girl's mother came back and took her daughter. It wasn't until she got back into the house that the girl told her mother that she was in pain, and the mom realized the horrifying crime that had just taken place.
So why did Kelly refuse to hand the convicted child rapist at least the minimum 25 years?
The judge said Rojano-Nieto "did not consciously intend to harm" the toddler when he raped her.
"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," the judge explained.He added that Rojano-Nieto "did not stalk" his victim, only becoming "inexplicably sexually aroused" when the little girls wandered into his territory.
The convicted child-rapist showed "no violence or callous disregard" for his victim, the judge said, noting that Rojano-Nieto was "an insecure, socially withdrawn, timid, and extremely immature young man with limited self-esteem."
Needless to say, dumbfounded prosecutors plan to appeal the reduced sentence — and some outraged citizens have already set up a Facebook page calling for the removal of the judge who went easy on the child-rapist.
[Image: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]