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View Full Version : Citizen of the Year receives 1,002 years in prison



Casshew
04-15-2004, 08:28 AM
1998 was sentenced Monday to 985 years to life in prison, plus 17 years, for raping and torturing his wife, abusing other family members and having an arsenal of weapons.

Pomona Superior Court Judge Thomas C. Falls imposed the term on Rocky Sanchez, 36. The sentence was one of the longest ever handed down in the history of the Pomona courthouse.

"I want to make sure he never sets foot in society again," Falls said.

A jury March 23 convicted Sanchez of 41 felony counts and one misdemeanor. The counts included forcible rape, attempted torture, spousal abuse, assault with a firearm, possession of a destructive device, false imprisonment, witness intimidation, stalking and possession of ammunition by a felon.

Most of the crimes happened between Nov. 11 and Sanchez's Dec. 5 arrest.

Falls said he was stunned that Sanchez was put on probation and not sent to prison for committing five robberies and an assault in 1990 and 1991. The convictions made Sanchez eligible to be charged in the current case under the three-strikes law.

Deputy Public Defender Dana L. Flaum said the sentence of more than 1,000 years illustrates the unfairness of the three-strikes law. The term would have been hundreds of years less if Sanchez killed the victims, Flaum said.

However, Falls -- agreeing the length of the sentence "looks a bit ridiculous" -- said Sanchez would have been eligible for the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole if he killed and tortured the victims.

Sanchez sat stone-faced during the sentencing. However, he muttered an obscenity when Deputy District Attorney Maribelle F. Estrella read a letter in court written by his 37-year-old wife.

The woman said Sanchez's actions had the greatest impact on their children. Her daughter, 14, was raped.

"She is always going to have the effects of this rape," the woman said. "She has lost her innocence forever."

http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/Stories/0,1413,206~22097~2079932,00.html