Adults who conduct sexual battery (rape) against a child under the age of 12 can face life in prison if convicted, according to Florida Laws.
Trigger Warning: This story mentions child sexual abuse that the readers may find disturbing.
A 32-year-old man from Florida has been found guilty of sexually assaulting minor girls. He will spend the rest of his life in jail after he abused the three children.
Jacob Ramirez of DeFuniak Springs had three children under his care, with ages ranging between 7 and 12 at the time, per Fox News. He was charged in July 2021 for molesting the three girls. On September 20, Judge Kelvin Wells sentenced Ramirez to two life sentences in addition to 15 years in the Florida Department of Corrections. Sheriff Michael Adkinson said at his time of arrest, "This is part of our relentless pursuit of charging sexual predators who prey on children and getting them out of our community and behind bars."
Meet Illegal: Jacob Ramirez, 32, will spend the rest of his life behind bars after he molested three young girls who were left in his care.— Daniel Thornton (@Panamadan61) September 21, 2022
Florida man sentenced to life in prison after sexually abusing three young girls: pic.twitter.com/j8IouaJ2SI
The Walton County Sheriff's Office was supported in their investigation by the Emerald Coast Children's Advocacy Center. Ramirez was charged with two counts of lewd and lascivious molestation of a victim less than 12 years of age and another count involved lewd and lascivious molestation of a victim 12 years or older. Forensic interviews and medical examinations were conducted with the children on July 18, 2021, at the Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center, per Northwest Florida Daily News.
Defuniak Springs is a small city on the Florida Panhandle with a population of around 7,000 people. According to Florida Law, "Statutory rape of a minor aged 12 to 16 is known in Florida as lewd and lascivious battery and is punishable by up to 15 years in prison." Adults who conduct sexual battery (rape) against a child under the age of 12 can face life in prison if convicted, per Mike G Law.
Another man was sentenced to life imprisonment for sexual assault of a child in Odessa, Texas. 20-year-old Joel John Valdez was found guilty of sexually assaulting a child. The victim, a 16-year-old girl, said that Valdez lied about his age to have sexual relations with her for a month. He was on probation for sexually assaulting another child at the time, per News West 9. He was found guilty of 2 counts and sentenced to life in prison for both.
Moreover, his probation from the previous case was revoked and he was sentenced to twenty years in prison for that. Valdez's life sentences will run concurrently, meaning at the same time, according to Judge Tyron Lewis. He must, however, complete his 20-year term for the earlier conviction before beginning to serve the life sentences. Valdez might be released from jail 36 years from now if the parole board decides to grant him parole in both cases as soon as feasible, per OA online. Before being eligible for parole in Texas, convicts must serve 50% of their sentence or 30 years, whichever is greater. The 36-year period includes the nearly four years he has been in detention awaiting trial.
Cover Image Source: Walton County Sheriff's Office