For sexual abuse of three children

Photo Credit: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Fernando RamirezA Madras man, Fernando Ramirez, 42, was sentenced Aug. 28 to 16 years in prison for the sexual abuse of three minor female children.

Ramirez pleaded guilty Aug. 21 to three counts of first-degree sexual abuse, Class B felonies, involving the children. The incidents took place between June 6, 2011 and Jan. 31, 2013, Aug. 29, 2009 and Aug. 28, 2012, and Feb. 16, 2009 and Feb. 15, 2011.

"He was convicted on charges that relate to each of the victims," said Jefferson County District Attorney Steve Leriche.

The abuse was discovered when one of the children reported it at school Jan. 31, 2013, and school personnel contacted the Madras Police Department and the Department of Human Services.

Ramirez was arrested on March 4, 2013. "He was taken into custody when he was located," said Leriche.

The children, who were all under age 14, reported that the abuse had taken place over several years. The youngest, who initially reported the abuse, was between age 5 and 6 at the time of disclosure, he said.

Judge Daniel Ahern sentenced Ramirez to 16 years in the custody of the Oregon Department of Corrections and 10 years of post-prison supervision for the crimes.

Ramirez must pay restitution of $7,226.14 to Pacific Source Community Solutions, and $105 to an individual. Two counts of unlawful first-degree sexual penetration, eight of first-degree sexual abuse, and one of attempting to commit a Class B felony were all dismissed.

"I think it's a resolution that has a fairly lengthy prison sentence that is justified under the law and in consideration of the fact that three young people were subject to his abuse and crimes," said Leriche.

"Hopefully, the sentence will serve to punish him and protect Jefferson County," he added.

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