Friday, May 9, 2008

An illegal alien, accused of having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl, has pled guilty to a count of lewd conduct with a child under 16

Juan Arteaga-Ponce was originally charged with four felony sex crimes — two counts of rape and two counts of lewd conduct with a minor child under 16, a crime often referred to in court circles as L&L. Both crimes are punishable in Idaho by up to life in prison. In accord with a plea agreement, three of the charges will be dismissed against Arteaga-Ponce and the Blaine County Prosecuting Attorney's Office will recommend that the defendant be sentenced to 10 years in prison, with three of them to be served before Arteaga-Ponce is eligible for parole. Public defender Christopher Simms is allowed under the plea agreement to ask for a lesser sentence. Once released from custody Arteaga-Ponce, who remains incarcerated on $25,000 bond, will likely be deported. Arteaga-Ponce was arrested by the Blaine County Sheriff's Office after a family complained that he had been involved sexually with the girl for about a month. Court records suggest that Arteaga-Ponce was unaware of the seriousness of his sexual involvement with the girl. The records state that at his arraignment he requested through a Spanish-speaking interpreter that he be deported rather than prosecuted.

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