James Guerrero, 48 — convicted in July of five counts of sexual assault on a child for crimes that that started when the child was age 12 in 1998 and continued for years — asked for mercy from the court at his Oct. 7 sentencing, in part because his two young children still need him “and I need them,” he said in a statement read by his attorney, Emily Valdez.
Guerrero decided at the last second to let her read it and remain seated because of his nausea due to anxiety, Valdez told the judge.
Later at the Castle Rock hearing, Senior Judge John Robert Lowenbach sentenced Guerrero to 44 years to life in prison.
After Guerrero serves 44 years, it would be up to the Colorado Parole Board and Sexual Offender Management Board what happens, Senior Deputy District Attorney Chris Gallo explained later.
Lowenbach told Guerrero the crimes, a series of “many, many offenses … if not hundreds,” were “heinous offenses … (creating) significant damage to the victim.” He also told Guerrero that his lack of remorse, not taking responsibility for the crimes, factored into the court’s sentencing decision.
Lowenbach told Guerrero he won’t be out “anytime soon” to parent his children. And he said prison will be an opportunity for him to “get over his denial” about committing the crimes.
The judge told him there will be “many opportunities in prison to redeem yourself and live a life as productive as you can make it.”
“What you’re losing is your freedom, not your soul,” he told Guerrero.
Guerrero’s victim didn’t disclose the abuse, which occurred in Castle Rock, until 15 years after it started, when she was age 26.
In a past interview, Gallo said “the sensitivity and support of the Castle Rock Police Department was an important element of this prosecution. The victim was extremely grateful to be heard, respected and vindicated. Her bravery was commendable during the investigation and in facing her attacker in the courtroom.”