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21-year-old gets lengthy sentence for sexual assault conviction

A 21-year-old California man has been sentenced to a lengthy prison term after being convicted of raping a housekeeper. The man, who is the son of a former high-ranking official with the California Highway Patrol, allegedly raped the woman at knifepoint during a 2011 encounter in Squaw Valley. He was formally sentenced for burglary and robbery in addition to the assault.

Attorneys in the case say that law enforcement officers refused to reveal key information in the case. That evidence showed that the alleged victim was not interested in pressing charges. The sheriff had signed an official declaration indicating that the woman did, in fact, want to press charges in the matter. That officer said she believed that the woman was being intimidated into silence by the defendant's family members. The man's parents say they intend to seek an appeal in the matter.

Authorities report that the defendant had previously attempted to elude authorities by fleeing to Mexico; they say that the man was allegedly helped across the border by his relatives. However, he was apprehended and returned to Fresno. Those actions, among others during the trial, were interpreted by the judge as defiant steps that did not indicate a willingness to pursue rehabilitation.

This case was surrounded in controversy, as the defendant's decision to flee and questions about the charges themselves seemed to obscure correct reporting of the facts. Still, the man did not receive the full sentence that could have been handed down in the case. He could have received an 80-year term if the judge had treated the charges differently.

Criminal defendants who are facing assault charges and other similar accusations may benefit from the assistance of a California criminal defense attorney. These professionals may be able to provide guidance and legal support for those accused of sexual assault. A California attorney may also educate defendants so they can make informed decisions about their criminal cases.

Source: The Fresno Bee, "Spencer Scarber sentenced to 35 years to life for rape" Marc Benjamin, Feb. 18, 2014

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