A 42-year old man who was convicted of making unwanted sexual advances on an underaged girl was sentenced to one year in jail Tuesday by Superior Court Judge Tomson T. Ong. The sentence is the maximum permitted by law for the crime.
Guillermo Aldana (pictured right) was found guilty last week of "annoying or molesting" a child under 18 years old, a misdemeanor. The 11-year old victim and a 13-year old friend testified against Aldana during the trial.
“I am pleased with the conviction and the sentence,” said City Prosecutor Doug Haubert, in a press release Tuesday. “Giving Aldana the maximum sentence is appropriate and sends a strong message that criminal conduct toward children will not be tolerated.”
On August 27 of this year, Aldana approached the victim as she sat on a bench outside the apartment complex she lived in. Aldana was visiting a friend in the area and may have been intoxicated, though prosecutors say voluntary intoxication is no defense for the crime. After speaking to the victim in Spanish, Aldana grabbed her head with both hands and attempted to kiss her. The victim pulled away and began to cry, when a 13-year old friend responded that the victim's mother was calling them both and they had to leave immediately. The girls told the victim's mother, who called the police. Aldana was arrested shortly thereafter.
Aldana must register as a sex offender, take a mandatory AIDS test and pay court fines and assessments. Judge Ong noted that the District Attorney could have pursued a felony conviction but did not. The Los Angeles County D.A.'s Office is not required to explain why they do or do not pursue felony convictions.
"Our goal on a case like this is generally to ensure registration," said Long Beach Deputy City Prosecutor Chad Salzman, who tried the case against Aldana. "A victory in this case was that he will have to register [as a sex offender] for the rest of his life."