JOLIET, Ill. (STMW) – A Will County judge sentenced a Joliet man whom prosecutors called a “deviant pedophile” to 87 years in prison Wednesday for the 2008 rape of his girlfriend’s 6-year-old daughter.
Jesse R. Perez, 32, faced a prison sentence of up to 120 years after a jury found him guilty in March of two counts of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, the Herald-News is reporting.
Prosecutors said Perez raped the girl in his home in the 400 block of Oneida Street on Oct. 7, 2008.
He was supposed to take the girl to a relative’s house, but he took her instead to his apartment where he attacked her, according to a release from the Will County State’s Attorney’s office.
The girl screamed for her mother during the assault, and Perez told her to stop crying, prosecutors told the judge Wednesday.
The girl’s mother told the judge her daughter now cries almost every night and doesn’t want to be around her family members.
“Everything about her has changed,” the mother said.
But Perez’s lawyer said his client denies his guilt and expects the verdict to one day be overturned.
Before she sentenced him, Judge Carla A. Policandriotes let Perez make a long statement in which he disparaged the victim’s mother, complained at length about his attorneys and asked for leniency.
“I’ve been bamboozled for four years,” Perez said.
“Jesse Perez is a deviant pedophile who will spend the rest of his life in prison for stealing the innocence of a little girl and inflicting tremedous physical and emotional harm on her,” Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow said in a statement.
“This is the kind of violation that must be prosecuted aggressively and punished harshly. Judge Policandriotes sent a strong message through this sentence that such a crime against children will never be tolerated.”
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)