73-year-old man gets 30-year sentence in sexual abuse case
A 73-year-old man was sentenced to 30 years in prison Tuesday for continuous sexual abuse of a child, with no possibility of parole — in effect, a life sentence, prosecutors said.
35th District Judge Steve Ellis approved a plea deal and sentenced Jose Perez to the term, a press release from District Attorney Micheal Murray’s office states.
According to the press release:
Perez will be required to serve all 30 years day for day with no parole, and cannot be released until he is over 100 years old.
Elisha Bird, the prosecutor involved in the plea, said the decision to plead Perez to 30 years was a difficult decision given the type of offense involved. After discussing options with the victim, Bird believed the agreement would protect both the victim and the community best.
Perez’s case had been set for trial on July 27. Due to COVID, numerous safety precautions and restrictions had been placed on jury trials by the Office of Court Administration, the press release states.
Given Perez’s age, the practical effect of a 30-year day-for-day sentence for Perez is comparable to a life sentence, Bird said.
Accepting the agreement protected the citizens of Brown County from any risk of COVID exposure during a jury trial, while also ensuring Perez spends the rest of his life in prison, Bird said. Given the practical effect of the sentence, Bird could not justify asking community members to risk exposure to seek a higher verdict during a jury trial, the press release states.
Perez was accused by indictment of the sexual abuse of a relative over a two-year period.