Stateline man gets prison for lewdness with minor |

Stateline man gets prison for lewdness with minor

Michael Schneider

A Stateline man was sentenced to 2-10 years in the Nevada State Prison yesterday by District Judge Dave Gamble after pleading guilty to one count of lewdness with a child under the age of 14.

Lumino Francis Valdes, 51, admitted to investigators molesting the victim many times after the victim told her mother of the abuse.

According to investigators’ reports, the abuse took place over several years and lasted until the time of Valdes’ arrest months ago.

Valdes reportedly offered to pay the victim between $1 and $15 to perform sexual acts or to allow him to perform sexual acts.

As the presentence report alleged Valdes was still a danger to reoffend, probation was not an option for Gamble. Defense attorney Pat Gilbert argued for the minimum sentence available for the “category B” felony, 2-6 years in prison.

“Mr. Valdes knows it was reprehensible,” said Gilbert. “It could have been destructive to [the victim], but apparently it wasn’t.

“At one point he (Valdes) was a victim, too.”

Gilbert argued for counseling and treatment for his client as he said he was sexually abused as a child Because Valdes was never helped, he continued the cycle of abuse on his young victim.

“With proper counseling, he will become more aware of the ramifications of this,” said Gilbert. “He will reach a level where he is not a danger to society.

“He’s not a monster, but he may have done a monstrous thing.”

Deputy District Attorney Kristine Brown recommended a sentence of 2-10 years in prison, saying the family of the victim had come to her and requested probation.

Gamble was wary of the request, asking Brown if the victim and her family asked for a lenient sentence because the victim felt guilty about the abuse.

Brown said that while the victim was with her mother, there was some blame shifting and feeling of guilt by both, but she said when she talked to the victim alone, the victim wanted less than the maximum sentence for Valdes.

Gamble said his main aim in sentencing was to break the cycle of abuse.

“The victim has become a perpetrator,” said Gamble. “You have done that to the victim, exactly as it was done to you.”

Gamble said Valdes had written about how, even as an adult, he would think of his sexual abuse and tears would flow down his cheeks. The judge told Valdes to remember how he felt at those moments and to understand that he made the victim feel the same way.

However, Gamble said that if he were to put Valdes in prison for the maximum sentence, it might make the victim feel more guilt over Valdes’ extended prison stay.

“It could affect her more negatively,” said Gamble of a maximum sentence. “The responsibility for these reprehensible acts lies with you.”

Gamble said in setting the maximum end of the sentence at 120 months, “It will enable the prison to keep you if you’re not reformed.”

Gamble stated over and over again throughout the proceedings that the victim was, in fact, a victim and nothing else. He said he did this so if she were to look over the court record many years from now, she would understand who was to blame and who was the victim.