EAGLE COUNTY, CO (The Aspen Times) – A 30-year-old Eagle County man will spend 16 years in prison for sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl.
Family members say Jose Hernan Delcid Guzman had a tough life before leaving El Salvador for the U.S. That’s tragic, but not particularly relevant, said District Court Judge Russell Granger. What is relevant is that Guzman knew what he was doing was wrong, Granger said.
“A 30-year old man has sexually assaulted an 11-year-old child. That’s a fact, and that’s not something the court can tolerate,” Granger said in passing sentence.
In a pre-sentence evaluation, Guzman said his offense would be legal in his native El Salvador. He also said he thought the girl was 16 or 17 years old.
Guzman pleaded guilty to sexual assault on a child. When he finishes his prison sentence, he will likely be deported, according to court testimony during a Monday hearing.
Whether Guzman was in the country legally could not be confirmed Monday through the courts or Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Joe Kirwan asked for the maximum 16-year sentence, and got it.
The victim’s parents made written statements to the court. “I want him to go to prison so he can realize the harm he caused my family,” their statements read. “I asked him for an explanation. He said, ‘Sorry.’ That is not enough. This incident has affected our entire family in every way possible.”
Guzman and the victim lived in the same Roaring Fork Valley home for some time.
“He is a predator of young children. It was almost a position of trust and he took advantage of it,” Kirwan said.
As Guzman’s defense attorney began speaking, the victim’s mother began to cry and left the courtroom, accompanied by a victims advocate from the District Attorney’s Office.