A Mexican man accused of raping a 14-year-old girl during an illegal border crossing in 2013 was sentenced to 20 years in prison Monday after pleading guilty to one count of molestation of a child under the age of 15.
Deputy County Attorney Liliana Ortega recommended that Jose Ramon Mancinas Flores, 23, receive the maximum 20-year sentence available under the deal because of his criminal history, the victim’s suffering and his lack of remorse.
“(He) does not understand how much he’s made her suffer,” Ortega said, adding that Mancinas had already been caught about a dozen times entering the United States illegally and that the victim was vulnerable.
“It’s not a coincidence that he victimized her … she was the most vulnerable,” Ortega told Judge Thomas Fink of Santa Cruz County Superior Court.
The case stems from a December 2013 incident in which Mancinas, a native of the Mexican state of Nayarit, allegedly sexually assaulted the girl multiple times while he guided a group of migrants from Oaxaca, Mexico through the desert. The group was later detained by Border Patrol agents in an area near South Arivaca Road.
Defense lawyer James Miller argued that Mancinas seemed unable to take responsibility for his actions, partly due to post-traumatic stress disorder and schizoaffective behavior diagnosed during a psychosexual evaluation.
“No one ever cared for him. His mom was a prostitute, his dad beat him and he has no education. Is it his fault? I don’t know,” Miller told the judge. “He definitely has mental health issues and needs mental health counseling.”