Man gets 6 years for sexual assault | RecordCourier.com
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Man gets 6 years for sexual assault

Sheila Gardner

A 22-year-old Gardnerville man was sentenced Monday to six years in Nevada State Prison for attempted sexual assault of a minor under 16, an incident his attorney described as occurring because of cultural differences.

Jorge G. Gutierrez pleaded guilty to the incident in March, although he said he couldn’t remember much because he was drunk. According to court reports, he returned to the residence where he was a guest and tried to get in bed with a 20-year-old woman in the house. When she stopped his advances, he went downstairs and assaulted a 14-year-old girl who was asleep on the floor.

Gutierrez and the victim are Hispanic. Gutierrez came to the United States from Mexico 2-1/2 years ago.

“He made a terrible mistake,” said his attorney, Michael Roeser. “It’s difficult to speak without inferring racial comments, but there is a different perception in the criminal justice system and the culture there. Things that go on there that don’t go on here.”

The victim’s sister described the 14-year-old as “outgoing, beautiful, and clean cut.”

She said the young woman has been shattered by the assault.

The February incident “robbed her of something she kept very precious, very dear to her. My little sister’s pain has no minimum sentence. She was not just sexually assaulted, she was robbed of her innocence,” the woman said. “Her sentence began Feb. 8 and has no possibility of parole.”

Gutierrez, speaking through an interpreter, said he committed a “great error.”

“I can’t explain how I’ve done it. I am very, very sorry,” Gutierrez said. “I respect women. I have always been able to communicate well. I don’t try to do bad things. I knew she was under age.”

Chief criminal deputy district attorney Kristine Brown rejected Roeser’s argument of the cultural differences.

“This man was a guest in these people’s home,” she said. “What kind of culture would say it’s my right to have sex with the youngest daughter in this family?” she asked.

District Judge Michael Gibbons told Gutierrez he hoped the defendant could reach out to the family and apologize for what happened.

“In Nevada, when children are victims, the penalties are worse for any type of sexual assault. This has had a tremendous impact on the victim,” Gibbons said.

Gutierrez faced a maximum of eight to 20 years in prison. Gibbons sentenced him to a minimum of six and a maximum of 20.

When Gutierrez is released, he is subject to lifetime supervision by parole and probation officials if he is not deported. He must submit blood and saliva samples for genetics testing.