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Same Crime, Different Sentences in Sex-Abuse Case

Same Crime, Different Sentences in Sex-Abuse Case

Posted - Sep. 17, 2004 at 7:46 a.m.



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FARMINGTON, Utah (AP) -- The same crime didn't equal the same punishment for two men who pleaded guilty to giving two 12-year-old girls alcohol and then having sex with them.

One of the girls, now 13, asked the judge to give Andy Scott Cabrera, 18, a tougher sentence than Pete Lorenzo Pacheco, 19.

She and her mother told 2nd District Judge Darwin C. Hansen that Cabrera was more aggressive, didn't want to admit the truth and hadn't shown remorse.

Pacheco was sentenced in May to one year in the Davis County Jail for the two counts of second-degree felony sexual abuse of a child.

Cabrera was also sentenced Thursday to one to 15 years in prison.

Cabrera and Pacheco also were ordered to pay restitution for any counseling or medical expenses the girls incurred.

Cabrera's attorney Blake Nakamura unsuccessfully argued that his client's sentence should be the same as Pacheco's because it was the same crime,

Hansen said the two defendants' behavior was drastically different.

Cabrera's conduct since the conviction was not one showing responsibility or a willingness to rehabilitate, he said.

Deputy Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings said Cabrera has been involved in two drug-related instances since he pleaded guilty, including one where he brought marijuana into the Utah State Prison.

Cabrera also has an extensive juvenile record with offensives ranging from criminal mischief to alcohol and theft charges.

Nakamura said his client's behavior was typical of any teenagers of being self-centered and unwilling to accept responsibility.

"We are dealing with a teenager," he said, noting that his client now understands what he has done.

Cabrera said he was in denial and was frustrated so he wasn't ready to accept responsibility before. However, he said he now is willing to do so.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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