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Sacramento County DA announces sentencing for two sexual assault cases against children

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The Sacramento District Attorney’s office announced the sentencing for two cases involving the sexual assault of children. Both defendants received sentences of over 90 years in prison but under California’s Elder Parole law both could be released after serving only 20 years.

Defendant Sentenced to 93+ Years Prison for Child Sexual Assault, Distributing Obscene Material to Minor

The Honorable Laurel White sentenced Victor Ponce to 93 years and 8 months in state prison. On April 11, 2024, Victor Ponce was convicted by a jury of 13 counts of committing lewd acts on a child under the age of 14 with force or fear and two counts of distributing harmful or obscene material to a minor.  The jury also found true that Ponce took advantage of a position of trust and confidence in committing the offenses and that the victim was particularly vulnerable at the time of the offenses.

Between 2012 and 2014, Ponce molested a child between the ages of 8 and 9 years old. He made the victim watch pornography and engaged in substantial sexual conduct with her repeatedly on numerous occasions.  After the victim disclosed the abuse in 2014, Ponce fled to Mexico. A federal arrest warrant for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution was obtained in 2016. Ponce was arrested on the warrant and extradited back to the United States in 2021 to face charges.

Under current California law, Ponce (age 50) will become eligible for release at an Elder Parole hearing after serving only 20 years of his 93-year and 8-month prison sentence.

Defendant Sentenced to 95 to Life for Sexually Assaulting Three Girls

On May 31, 2024, the Honorable Carlton Davis sentenced Lesly Ross to 95 years to life in prison and lifetime registration as a sex offender. The Court also found true multiple aggravating factors, including the victims were particularly vulnerable; Ross took advantage of a position of trust; and he used planning and sophistication to commit the offenses. On April 26, 2024, a jury convicted Ross of 11 counts of lewd act upon a child and one count of forcible lewd act upon a child. The jury also found true allegations of substantial sexual conduct and multiple victims.

Lesly Ross sexually assaulted three girls during three different time periods. The first victim was 7 to 8 years old when Ross molested her on three separate occasions in 2003 and 2004. The second victim was a 13-year-old girl who had run away from a group home. In 2009, she was brought to Sacramento by another man who wanted to traffic her. She got away from that man, at which point she met Ross. Ross took the victim to a motel, where he had sexual intercourse with her two times.  The third victim was 7 years old when Ross began to sexually assault her between 2008 and 2011.

Under current California law, Ross (age 47) will become eligible for release at an Elder Parole hearing once he reaches the age of 50 and only serves 20 years of his 95 years to life sentence.  With his in-custody credits, that will be in approximately 18 years.

Additional material on Elder Parole can be found here:

Elderly Parole Fact Sheet .docx (ca.gov)

View Document – California Code of Regulations (westlaw.com)

Section 3055 – Elderly Parole Program, Cal. Pen. Code § 3055 | Casetext Search + Citator

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