Man accused of sex abuse of minors pleads no contest
A man accused of multiple charges of sexual abuse entered a no contest plea in Columbia County Circuit Court this week just before he was scheduled to take part in a three-day trial.
Erick Wenceslao Itza Briceno, 37, entered his no contest plea on Wednesday, Aug. 14, to one count of attempted rape, two counts of sexual abuse, and one count of sodomy in the first degree. The plea effectively reduced the number of and severity of the charges he was facing at trial for the abuse of several people in Columbia County.
Itza Briceno was arrested in January 2018 on eight counts of first-degree rape and two counts of sexual abuse after three victims told law enforcement they had been groomed and sexually abused by Itza Briceno when they were between the ages of 9 and 14 years old while living in Columbia County.
In March this year, Itza Briceno was indicted on additional charges of sexual abuse and sodomy when another victim alleged she was abused by Itza Briceno in 2009 when she was younger than 14 years old.
The abuse occurred in Scappoose and St. Helens sometime in 2009 and between the years 2014 and 2015.
Law enforcement previously indicated Itza Briceno lived in Washington, but court records show he also resides in St. Helens.
Itza Briceno initially faced 22 felony charges ranging from rape to sexual abuse in one case, and an additional five charges of sodomy and sexual abuse in the other case, records show.
By entering the plea on only four charges, Itza Briceno will serve 120 months in prison, and will be eligible for early release during the last 20 months of his sentence for good behavior and time served, according to court records. He will also be subject to post-prison supervision for 10 years.
The plea also releases him from any potential charges that could have been brought against him in the state of Washington, where anoth-
er allegation of abuse occurred.
The court had two translators working with Itza Briceno to translate proceedings in both Spanish and Mayan on Wednesday. A request was also made to have the translators available for a sentencing hearing on Sept. 11.
Earlier this week, a jury pool had been selected for the trial and proceedings were scheduled to take place Wednesday, before Itza Briceno entered the plea. The jury was released Wednesday afternoon.
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