LOGAN — A judge has ordered Jose L. Almaguer to serve five-years-to-life in prison for raping a woman in 2015. Judge Thomas Willmore issued the maximum sentence after refusing to grant the 34-year-old former Logan man a new trial.
Almaguer appeared in 1st District Court Monday afternoon. In June, he was convicted of rape, a first-degree felony, after a jury found him guilty.
The three-day trial included testimony from the victim of how the defendant groped and later raped her, while she and her children spent the night at his home. Almaguer had first told police that he had never met the victim. Later though, after traces of his DNA was found inside the woman, he claimed that he did in fact know her but said the sex was consensual.
Sentencing had been postponed several times after Almaguer filed a motion for a new trial. He claimed, the jury was improperly influenced by prosecutor’s closing statements that he had lied while testifying on the witness stand.
During Monday’s sentencing, Judge Willmore ruled that even though prosecutors used strong words in their closing statements, his instructions to the jury, to not consider the perjury allegation as evidence, didn’t impact their decision. He noted that there was very strong evidence from the victim, which led to a proper jury verdict.
Later, the victim told the court how she can’t forget what Almaguer did to her. She tearfully said, “He is dangerous and doesn’t deserve to be in society.” She asked that he be given the maximum sentence and be ordered to never have contact with her.
Almaguer said he doesn’t believe there is justice in the court system and continued to claim his innocence.
The defendant is already serving up to five-years in prison for an incident in October 2015, when he showed up at a woman’s home saying he shot himself. Police set up a perimeter around the neighborhood and placed several nearby schools on lock-down.
During Monday’s court appearance, Judge Willmore noted how Almaguer always had bizarre stories for the crimes he was charged with. He ordered the new sentence run consecutive with what the defendant is already serving. He advised Almaguer, that the State Board of Pardons will not let him out on parole until he admits to what he did.