Wednesday Dec 17 2008
Former Marine gets one year
By: Todd Wilson, correspondent
Ordered to register as sex offender
Victor Sanchez-Millan, the 23-year-old Marine recruiter accused of having sex with a 17-year-old Lincoln High School student, was sentenced to one year in jail Monday and will be required to register as a sex offender. Sanchez-Millan pleaded no contest to two misdemeanor counts of contributing to a delinquency of a minor and two felony counts of unlawful with a minor in a plea bargain on Oct. 30 in Sacramento County. As a part of the plea bargain, all charges in Placer County against Sanchez-Millan were dropped. Sanchez-Millan was arrested Aug. 21 after he allegedly met the high school student at a job fair and initiated a consensual sexual relationship with her. On Monday, Sacramento Superior Court Judge Gary Ransom sentenced Sanchez-Millan to 365 days in the county jail and five years probation. Sanchez-Millan can apply for a work project furlough program for the final 90 days of his jail term. Sanchez-Millan was also ordered to pay restitution to the victim. The amount of restitution has not yet been determined. The defendant is also not allowed to have any contact with the victim. Sanchez-Millan faced a maximum sentence of three years and eight months in prison for each of the felony counts and one year in jail for each of the misdemeanors. A key question at Monday’s sentencing hearing was whether Sanchez-Millan would have to register as a sex offender. Sanchez-Millan’s attorney, Monica Lynch, asked that the defendant not be required to register. She cited the closeness in ages of Sanchez-Millan and the victim, and said that his actions did not show a pattern of behavior that could be construed as predatory. The victim’s stepfather addressed the court Monday, asking Ransom to look over Internet chat logs between Sanchez-Millan and the victim in considering whether the defendant’s actions were predatory. The stepfather choked back tears as he read a statement to the court explaining what his family has gone through with this ordeal. He often addressed his comments directly to Sanchez-Millan. “You have never shown any signs of remorse,” the victim’s stepfather told Sanchez-Millan. During the reading of his statement, the stepfather was reminded twice by Ransom that he could only direct his statements to the court and could not personally address the defendant. Ransom required Sanchez-Millan to register as a sex offender, saying that the behavior was the cause of a sexual compulsion and that it was predatory. “For the safety of society, you will have to register with the officials of whatever city or county you are living in. You will have to do this for the rest of your life,” Ransom said. Following the sentencing, Sanchez-Millan was immediately taken into custody. As Sanchez-Millan was led away, several of his friends and family members began sobbing and weeping. One family member collapsed to the floor crying as she exited the courtroom. Another of Sanchez-Millan’s family members began shouting at the victim’s stepfather. “Is this what you wanted? Is this what you wanted?” she yelled and pointed to the woman who fell. The stepfather responded, “You play, you pay. This is what happens.” Following the outburst, on the judge’s orders, Sanchez-Millan’s family was escorted out of the courtroom and the courthouse building by Sacramento County Sheriff’s deputies. The victim’s stepfather also questioned the Western Placer Unified School District’s culpability in the case. He wanted to know how Sanchez-Millan was able to sign the victim out of class several times. While school district officials earlier this month would not confirm or deny that Sanchez-Millan signed the minor out of class, the Western Placer Unified School District’s official policy is that no student can be taken off campus by anyone other than a parent, unless that person is listed on the student’s emergency card on at the office or has parental permission. “Military recruiters would not be exempt from that policy,” said Mary Boyle, the school district’s assistant superintendent in an Aug. 21 statement to the media. The stepfather alleges that the school district informed him that they had a signed parental permission slip on file that allowed Sanchez-Millan to sign the victim out of class. The stepfather said he asked the school district to show him the permission slip. He said that the district has not produced the permission slip. “What I don’t understand is why they have evaded showing it to me,” the stepfather said. The stepfather received a letter, which he gave to the News Messenger, dated Sept. 17, from the school district’s Superintendent Scott Leaman stating, “The district feels further meetings would not be beneficial at this time. Further questions concerning this matter will be administered through our representative, Sierra Self Insurance.” Both Lincoln High School principal Dave Butler and Superintendent Leaman on Tuesday said they had no comment in regard to the stepfather’s allegations. According to a statement issued in early November by Lt. Jill Leyden, public affairs officer for the 12th Marine Corps District, Sanchez-Millan is “no longer affiliated with the United States Marine Corps.” The Marines have filed no charges against Sanchez-Millan. Leyden added in November that Sanchez-Millan was not given a dishonorable discharge because he did not face a court martial. A dishonorable discharge can only come about as the result of a court martial.