SAN DIEGO (AP) — An Orange County judge who gave a man less than half the mandatory sentence for sodomizing a 3-year-old girl has been told to try again.
A California appeals court on Tuesday ordered Superior Court Judge Marc Kelly to impose the mandatory state minimum of 25 years to life on Kevin Rojano-Nieto.
The 21-year-old sexually assaulted a relative in the garage of his Santa Ana, California, home in 2014 and later confessed.
Kelly sentenced him to 10 years in prison, saying the mandatory term would be "grossly disproportionate" and amount to cruel and unusual punishment. The judge said the brief assault wasn't typical of what he called "predatory, violent, brutal" sex assaults on children.
The appellate court disagreed, saying "a sex offense against a small child is a grave offense."