A California judge cut a child rapist’s potential life sentence last week, saying the man had not meant to harm the toddler girl.
Kevin Rojano was convicted Dec. 3 of sodomizing a child younger than 10 and lascivious acts with a minor, and he was initially sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.
But Orange County Superior Court Judge M. Marc Kelly trimmed 15 years off Rojano’s sentence, saying it would be cruel and unusual punishment to impose the maximum prison term because the 20-year-old lacked “callous disregard for (the victim’s) well-being,” reported the Orange County Register.
Prosecutors said Rojano was playing video games June 4 in the garage of his Santa Ana home when a 3-year-old relative wandered in, and investigators said the man became sexually aroused by the child and assaulted her.
The girl’s mother was unable to get into the locked garage as she looked for the child, and prosecutors said Rojano covered the toddler’s mouth to keep her from yelling.
Rojano let the girl out of the garage, and her mother was unaware of the abuse until her daughter complained of pain.
“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 claimed in his decision. “Mr. Rojano did not seek out or stalk (the victim). He was playing video games and she wandered into the garage. He inexplicably became sexually aroused but did not appear to consciously intend to harm (the victim) when he sexually assaulted her.”
Kelly also argued that Rojano, who had been abused as a child, said he regretted his crime.
“Although serious and despicable, this does not compare to a situation where a pedophilic child predator preys on an innocent child,” the judge argued. “There was no violence or callous disregard for (the victim’s) well-being.”
Prosecutors said they disagreed with the judge’s decision and may appeal the sentence.