ROCHESTER, N.H. — Justin Sanchez was sentenced to a year in jail after he pleaded guilty to impregnating a 14-year-old girl on Thursday.
Sanchez, 22, formerly of Sanford, Maine, pleaded guilty to a felonious sexual assault charge, for having sexual contact with the girl between July and August of 2011. Due to a negotiated plea, he was sentenced to serve 12 months in the county’s House of Corrections. Sanchez, who already has more than 200 days of preconfinement credit, was also ordered two years of probation as part of his plea agreement.
During Thursday’s plea and sentencing hearing at Strafford County Superior Court, Assistant County Attorney Amy Feliciano said Sanchez met the girl through the Internet when she was 13 years old. The two met in person at a Rochester park, and at the time, she told him that she was 17 years old, according to Feliciano.
She said that shortly after her 14th birthday, the victim and Sanchez had sexual intercourse, leading to a pregnancy and the birth of a son. Feliciano said that a DNA test confirmed that the child, who is now about one year old, is Sanchez’s.
Police Capt. Paul Toussaint previously told Foster’s Sanchez was charged because the victim was not old enough to give consent to sex. He said the sexual contact did not involve physical force.
According to Feliciano, the case came to the attention of police in October 2011, when the victim’s mother reported to police her daughter was about four months pregnant. She said it was not until the pregnancy that the young victim told Sanchez her true age.
Also as part of the plea agreement, Sanchez is required to register as a sexual offender. He is permitted to have contact with his son and the victim only as determined by the family court and Division of Children, Youth, and Families. His agreement also states he must participate in any counseling as recommended by the Department of Corrections, and he must complete a sexual offender evaluation.
Feliciano could not be reached for further comment on Thursday.
Distributed by MCT Information Services