Involved young girl

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Francisco Diaz

A Madras man, Francisco Diaz, 29, was sentenced to 75 months in prison on Monday for sexually abusing a young girl.

After a three-day trial, Jan. 14-16, Diaz was found guilty of two counts of first-degree sexual abuse, which occurred between March 9, 2006, and March 8, 2007, when the girl was 6 or 7 years old.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Sheryl Blackman, who prosecuted the case, asked District Court Judge Annette Hillman to consider the harm to the victim, the defendant’s admitted use of methamphetamine, and manipulation of the child.

“It’s not his first crime, not his only crime, not even his only type of crime,” she said.

Standing in for defense attorney Jennifer Kimble was John Susac, of Prineville, who said that 75 months was disproportionate to the crime, which involved touching “over the clothes of prepubescent breast area and upper thigh.”

Hillman sentenced Diaz to 75 months in the custody of the Oregon Department of Corrections, and 10 years of post-prison supervision, minus time served. Four additional counts of first-degree sexual abuse were dismissed earlier, during the jury trial.

Diaz must register as a sex offender and have no contact with the victim.

“There are no winners in a case like that,” said Blackman, noting that the case and the sentence were particularly important for drawing attention to such abuse during April, which is Child Sexual Abuse Awareness month.

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