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Man pleads guilty in sexual assault case

Solorzano enters plea to reduced charge, may face deportation

Posted: Tuesday, July 10, 2001

A man pleaded guilty Monday in Juneau Superior Court to a charge of attempted second-degree sexual assault.

Vicente Solorzano, 33, was convicted of the reduced felony charge, which refers to attempted sexual contact without consent.

But his attorney, Louis Mendendez, said Solorzano maintains his innocence.

"He continues to contest the allegations," Mendendez told Judge Larry Weeks at the change-of-plea hearing on Monday. "He understands this (the plea) is the best thing for him to do."

A grand jury indicted Solorzano for first-degree sexual assault, as well as the misdemeanors of fourth-degree assault and two counts of third-degree criminal mischief.

The district attorney's office, in a court filing, said a woman claimed Solorzano came to her apartment in Juneau on Feb. 5, fought with her cousin, yelled at her and broke down her bathroom door after she ran into the room and locked the door. The woman alleged Solorzano assaulted her sexually, according to the court filing.

A person convicted of first-degree sexual assault, which refers to penetration without consent, faces a sentence of up to 30 years in prison.

Under the charge of second-degree attempted sexual assault, Solorzano faces a typical prison sentence of two years, which can be increased or reduced depending on the circumstances of his case. The maximum prison term is five years.

The plea on Monday did not include an agreement with the prosecutor on a sentence.

Judge Weeks also could impose an additional 235 days in prison left over from an earlier sentence for felony drunken driving in Ketchikan. Solorzano, who is a Mexican citizen, also could be deported by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service.

Sentencing is set for Aug. 27.

Eric Fry can be reached at efry@juneauempire.com.



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