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Granada Hills Driving Instructor Arrested for Child Molestation

According to the Los Angeles Daily News, a man who owns a driving school company is accused of molesting a 17 year old boy. Police also fear there may be other victims. Joselito Valencia Danan is a 44 year old owner of Valleywide Driving School which is based in Granada Hills. He is charged with misdemeanor sexual battery of a juvenile after being accused of fondling a teenage boy during his driving lesson.

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is also seeking information from other potential victims who may have been molested by the man.

This event took place on August 16, when the driving lesson occurred. The LAPD always prosecutes sex crimes to the fullest extent of the law, especially when the accused works with underage people. Teachers, driving instructors, coaches and others will face severe penalties if they are arrested for and charged with a sex crime with an underage person.

Punishments for sex crimes such as the ones the driving instructor faces include:

  • Being placed on the sex offender registry. Inclusion on the Meghan’s Law List could ruin a person’s chances of getting a job, moving into a neighborhood and more. In fact, when a criminal defense attorney represents someone accused of a sex crime, this is always a big concern.
  • Jail time. Depending on the severity of the crime, which includes the sex acts, the age of the victim, the number of occurrences and so forth, jail time could be severe. To make matters worse, people charged with sex crimes against children are treated very brutally in prison.
  • Probation. Probation may not sound like a big deal, but if the person on probation gets arrested for any other reason, DUI, theft crime or even something minor, it could lead directly to jail time.
  • Fines. There are a number of fines and restitution programs for sex offenders.

AYSO Coach Charged with Child Molestation

A boys’ soccer coach in Lancaster was accused last month of molesting several boys he had worked with. Renior Vincent Valenti was formally charged by Los Angeles County prosecutors with molesting 13 boys, including five former or current male players that he had worked with as a coach for the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO). According to reports, the abuse occurred as early as 1994 with one victim and continued for the next 10 years. Valenti is said to have molested other boys as recently as the month before his arrest. Valenti had been arrested in July after a mother came to local authorities claiming that Valenti had molested her 9-year-old son. Initially, Valenti was charged with crimes relating to five boys, including two felony counts of continuous sexual abuse and three misdemeanor counts of child molestation on August 8, to which he pleaded not guilty. As investigators for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Special Victims Unit continued to dig deeper into the case, however, several more alleged victims were found, especially after the department appealed to the public for any more victims to come forward. The boys allegedly abused by Valenti range in age from five years old to 15. Valenti is now facing five felony counts of continuous child abuse and eight misdemeanor counts of child molestation. If Valenti is convicted on all counts, he is facing a minimum sentence of 83 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison. Valenti, who is now 50 years old, has been coaching soccer for AYSO for 15 years.

At a hearing last Thursday, a Los Angeles County judge raised Valenti’s bail from $1 million to $2.25 million.

Being accused of child molestation can have serious consequences on a person’s future. While the allegations in themselves can be very damaging to a person’s reputation, the legal ramifications of a conviction can put you in prison for a very, very long time. In most cases of child molestation, rather than assessing a single punishment for several counts of criminal activity, each charge is considered separately and given its own punishments. Being convicted of multiple crimes means that the jail time simply adds up; Valenti’s case is a perfect example of this as he is facing over 80 years in prison for his alleged numerous crimes.

A good lawyer, however, knows that there are several ways to deal with this. Many charges can be reduced or dismissed due to lack of evidence, or improperly collected evidence against a defendant.

Southern California Sex Crimes

Los Angeles, Riverside and Orange counties have seen a fair share of bizarre and disturbing sex crimes over the years, and the following recent events are no different.

In Orange County, a massage therapist was sentenced to jail time and probation according to the Los Angeles Times after he pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting three of his clients. The 29 year old man was sentenced to one year in jail after admitting to one felony and two misdemeanor sex crimes. He will also have three years of probation and have to register as a lifetime sex offender. The man worked for nine months in a Seal beach massage establishment where he assaulted three women sexually during their appointments. One of them reported the assault to police, the other two came forward during the investigation. He also had his massage certification taken away.

In the Inland Empire, a man pleaded guilty in federal court to making child pornography with a 13 year old boy. The 33 year old man filmed his sexual conduct with the teenager. The man pleaded guilty to production of child pornography which carries with it a minimum penalty of 15 years in federal prison. The sex crime took place in 2009 and the boy lived just a few houses away from the man. The FBI also identified two other victims according to the L.A. Times. The man was charged with 23 counts of lewd acts upon a child, alleging he molested three victims including the one in the federal case. That trial is taking place in San Bernandino County Superior Court.

Up in Modesto County, a 15 year veteran of the Modesto Police Department was arrested for suspicion of sexually molesting a female relative of his. The 40 year old man was taken into custody and booked on suspicion of felony molestation charges. The officer’s alleged sex crimes occurred in 2009 and 2010 according to the victim. None occurred while the officer was on duty though, which will be helpful in his defense. Police and community members are stunned by the arrest.

Sex crimes take all forms, and the prosecution of these crimes requires a Los Angeles Sex Crime Attorney who can provide the best defense in the midst of a complicated situation. The press, the community and the courts demonize anyone charged with a sex crime, even though the American justice system declares people innocent until proven guilty.

Anaheim Man Pleads Guilty to Rape

An Orange County man pleaded guilty to raping a young girl in an Anaheim court today. Jose Guadalupe Jimenez worked as a clown under the name El Tin Larin and was reportedly in costume when he abducted a 12-year-old girl from in front of a Taco Bell restaurant around midnight on January 19, 2002. Jimenez is then said to have driven the young girl to Ladera Vista Junior High School where he raped her in his car. The unnamed victim managed to flee the car and Jimenez when he stopped at a nearby motel and got out of the car. The case went unsolved for nearly a decade until Jimenez was required to give DNA samples after being charged with misdemeanor battery in February of 2011. He was arrested and later pled guilty to battery charges in February and served 180 days in jail. Jimenez was facing a minimum of 25 years to life in prison after being charged with raping the 12-year-old girl, but instead pled guilty and was immediately sentenced to 10 years in jail. In addition to spending the next 10 years of his life in prison, Jimenez will also be required to register as a sex offender for life.

For those who may not know, rape in its simplest terms is forcing another person to have sexual intercourse or perform other sexual acts against their will. While the basic definition of rape does not vary widely, there are several different types of rape that are recognized legally, including statutory rape, date rape, spousal rape and gang rape. In some instances, rape can also be called sexual assault or, in a case such as Jimenez’s, child sexual abuse. These are very serious, even life-changing criminal charges to face. The potential punishment for a rape conviction includes being sentenced to several years in prison, parole after a prison term is completed, expensive fines, and, perhaps most punishing, registering as a sex offender, sometimes for life. While time spent in prison may make it difficult for a person to find a decent job or apartment, registering as a convicted sex offender is a whole other level of shame, humiliation and brutal punishment altogether. Unlike so many other convicted criminals, people convicted of a sex crime and registered as a sex offender have personal information about themselves and the crime they were convicted of available on an online database that anyone with access to a computer can find. Family members, friends, potential employers or landlords, and even potential romantic partners can also look this information. Being a registered sex offender is, perhaps, a bit like tattooing personal information on your forehead for all to see, which is why it is so important to find an aggressive attorney to fight for you.