LOGAN — A 20-year-old Logan man was given the maximum sentence of five-years-to-life in prison, for raping a teenage girl last year. Jesus Diaz-Orozco refused to make any comment, and later smirked as he walked out of the courtroom, escorted by deputies.
Judge Brian Cannell said what the defendant did to the then 14-year-old girl was a heinous act. He stated, other than taking an individual’s life, there isn’t anything worse than taking the virtue of an innocent person.
Diaz-Orozco appeared in 1st District Court Tuesday morning. He previously had pleaded guilty to rape, a first-degree felony.
State attorney Jacob Gordon said this was a case where the victim said no repeatedly and Diaz-Orozco refused to stop. He pleaded for the court to send the defendant to prison, describing how the girl is already dealing with a life sentence, trying to cope with what happened. He concluded that we can’t have people like this in society.
Orozco and 24-year-old Lemuel A. Del Valle-Morales were arrested in October 2017. They were both charged with sexually assaulting the 14-year-old girl in June. Diaz-Orozco then raped her again in July. Both men reportedly knew the victim prior to the assaults.
The third defendant, 19-year-old Smithfield woman Eva M. Flores, allegedly encouraged the victim to have sex with the defendants.
During Tuesday’s sentencing, defense attorney Mike McGinnis had first asked the court to postpone sentencing, so his client could be considered for a sex-offender treatment facility. Judge Cannell denied the request, saying the conviction of rape was significant and didn’t deserve to be continued any longer.
McGinnis later described that there weren’t many good things he could say about his client. He explained that the facts of the case should concern everyone and that there were many guilty people.
Court records show, Flores appeared in court March 20. Her public defender and prosecutors are working on a possible plea deal. She is scheduled to appear again in court April 24.
Del Valle-Morales has continued to claim his innocence. He has agreed to a paternity test, to determine if a child the victim is pregnant with, was fathered by him. Since the test won’t be performed until after the child is born this spring, his case has been postponed.
Morales and Flores are currently out of jail, after both posted bail shortly after being arrested in October.