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June 29, 2014
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Illegal immigrant sentenced for sexually assaulting child

EAGLE - An illegal alien will spend at least two years and possibly life in prison for sexually assaulting a child.

Francisco Rodriguez-Sanchez, 38, was sentenced June 18 as his family packed Judge Paul Dunkelman’s courtroom.

He was also sentenced to one year for using forged documents, a fake Social Security card and permanent resident card with the name Alejandro Gomez and his picture on it.

Rodriguez-Sanchez was charged with two counts. At his trial, the jury convicted him on one count but was deadlocked on the other.

The father of the victim spoke prior to Dunkelman handing down the sentence, saying that even though Rodriguez-Sanchez came to this country illegally, it has embraced him. He said that while Rodriguez-Sanchez’ ordeal may be over in as little as two years when he is released, his family’s ordeal could last as long as his daughter lives.

Several members of Rodriguez-Sanchez’ family spoke, asking Judge Dunkelman for a light sentence.

Rodriguez-Sanchez showed little emotion as Judge Dunkelman handed down the sentence.

Rebecca Wiard, assistant district attorney, prosecuted the case. She said that because Rodriguez-Sanchez is in the country illegally, he will be deported as soon as he is released from prison.

How long he remains in prison depends on his behavior, and how well he responds to counseling and other programs, prosecutors said.

Between his conviction and Wednesday’s sentencing, Rodriguez-Sanchez was put through psychosexual evaluations that investigated his background and characteristics.

What happened

The charges stem from a September 2013 incident at Rodriguez-Sanchez’ Holy Cross Village apartment in Gypsum. While children were playing he brought snacks to an upstairs bedroom. He climbed into a small play tent in the room, pulled one of the girls on top of him and squeezed her buttocks.

During the trial his attorney, Ted Hess, of Glenwood Springs, had Rodriguez-Sanchez stuff himself into the tent. The tent is about 3 feet by 4 feet and about 3 feet tall. It’s shaped like a soccer goal and covered in camouflage-colored material. It’s open on one side, like a goal would be.

No matter how he contorted himself, he couldn’t make himself fit.

Moments later, Wiard put him back in that tent and arranged him in such a way that he fit easily, with room for at least one other person.

The trial lasted two days. The jury deliberated two days before finding Rodriguez-Sanchez guilty.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or rwyrick@vaildaily.com.


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The VailDaily Updated Jun 29, 2014 10:00PM Published Jun 29, 2014 12:00PM Copyright 2014 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.