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Man sentenced for sex offense

October 18, 2005|by PEPPER BALLARD

pepperb@herald-mail.com

A Salvadoran man who faces deportation for an August conviction of inappropriately touching a 10-year-old girl was sentenced Monday in Washington County Circuit Court to serve five years and six months in prison for the March 2005 offense.

Orlando Rene Salazar, 36, whose last known address is listed on charging documents as 11557 Robinwood Drive, Apt. 14, was found guilty by a Circuit Court jury in August of third-degree burglary, third-degree sex offense, fourth-degree sex offense, second-degree assault and trespassing for the March 14 offense.

Salazar pushed his way into the girl's apartment as she was getting home from school, even though she told him nobody was allowed to come inside while her mother was at work, according to testimony in the August daylong trial. He pretended to use her phone and began to touch her, but she outfoxed him, telling him she needed to lock the door, but instead ran for help, according to testimony.

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Circuit Judge John H. McDowell sentenced Salazar to serve four years and six months for the third-degree sex offense conviction, merging second-degree assault and fourth-degree sex offense convictions into that sentence and adding a concurrent three months for the trespassing charge. He also sentenced Salazar to serve a consecutive sentence of one year and one day for the third-degree burglary conviction.

McDowell ordered Salazar to register as a child sex offender.

Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Gina Cirincion had told McDowell that Salazar is an illegal citizen. She said representatives from the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service have visited Salazar at the Washington County Detention Center.

"He wants to be deported," she said, but added that she didn't want him to think that is his sentence for the crime.

Salazar, who spoke through a Spanish interpreter, pleaded with McDowell to allow him to see his sick father, although he didn't indicate where his father was living.

Before he sentenced Salazr, McDowell told him: "Some crimes, Mr. Salazar, affect people more significantly than others. When a child is molested, touched inappropriately ... that child's life is changed forever."

McDowell read a letter written by the girl. Now 11, the girl did not attend the sentencing.

"Ever since the day that that man did that ... I don't like many hugs or kisses on the cheeks. I don't even like to be around men ...," McDowell read.

After reading the letter, he said, "Had it not been for her fast thinking and intelligence that day, I shudder to think what would have happened."

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