Santa Maria Man Sentenced for Sexual Assault Crimes

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Source: Santa Barbara County District Attorney

Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce E. Dudley announced today that 44-year old James Fuentes was sentenced to 25 years to life in state prison after having pled to one count of forced oral copulation, a violent felony offense, on two different victims and admitted two prior strike convictions.  He will also be required to register as a sex offender under Penal Code section 290 for life. 

These crimes arose out of two sexual assaults occurring in the spring of 2018 in the City of Santa Maria.  In one assault, Fuentes entered the home of his victim and forced her to perform sexual acts on him.  In a later assault, Fuentes in early morning hours entered the business office of another victim and forced her to perform sexual acts on him after attempting to rape her.  Santa Maria Police Department detectives were able to quickly identify Fuentes as a suspect after the second sexual assault and tie Fuentes to both crimes through DNA analysis and other evidence collected.

District Attorney Dudley commended the Santa Maria Police Department, the Department of Justice Criminal Lab in Goleta and Supervising Deputy District Attorney Scott Donahue for their work in investigating, analyzing evidence and assisting in the prosecution of these heinous crimes.  District Attorney Dudley also added, “In reporting these horrific crimes, these courageous victims ensured that this sexual predator can never assault another woman again.”

James Fuentes (Photo: Santa Barbara Sheriff's Office)


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doulie Feb 02, 2021 08:08 AM
Santa Maria Man Sentenced for Sexual Assault Crimes

What happened to the three-strikes law and why not a life sentence? Why deal if there is DNA evidence on one of the two current cases and two prior strike convictions. Requiring Fuentes to register as a sex-offender implies he will be released.

ZeroHawk Feb 02, 2021 10:29 AM
Santa Maria Man Sentenced for Sexual Assault Crimes

3 strike law wasn't working and just ended up putting more people, non violent offenders away for life and on our $. it was designed as a deterrent, but only worked for some. many others got caught in its poorly designed web. thousands of non violent offenders were sent away for life, while the punishment didn't fit the crime.

ZeroHawk Feb 02, 2021 10:31 AM
Santa Maria Man Sentenced for Sexual Assault Crimes

sorry, i meant to edit first, but hit send in error. doesn't matter. go a head and pick it apart. it'll give someone something to do today.
all in all 3 strikes works for some offenders but the prosecutors have abused it to a point where it's not used so much now.

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