A Defiance man was sentenced Thursday to one of the longer prison terms in recent years in Defiance County Common Pleas Court on two child sexual abuse cases.
Luis Barrientos, 44, 183 Wilson St., was given prison terms totaling 20 years and 11 months by Judge Joseph Schmenk on charges of sexual battery, a third-degree felony; and four counts of gross sexual imposition, three of which are third-degree felonies, while the other is a fourth-degree felony.
He also was classified as a tier III sexual offender and given credit for time served in jail while his case was pending.
Barrientos had pleaded no contest to the charges on Aug. 15, and was found guilty by Schmenk. Three counts of rape, each a first-degree felony, were dismissed as part of the plea negotiations between Prosecutor Morris Murray’s office and Barrientos’ attorney, Stevin Groth of Toledo.
A penalty of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole would have been one of the sentencing options for the rape charges due to one female victim’s age (7). Schmenk could have imposed a maximum sentence of 21 1/2 years on the five charges to which Barrientos entered pleas.
The three third-degree felony gross sexual imposition charges alleged that he had sexual contact — as opposed to more serious sexual conduct — with the 7-year-old victim mentioned.
The other two charges were filed after Barrientos was indicted by a Defiance County grand jury in December 2019 and new allegations involving two other girls surfaced. Those victims alleged that Barrientos engaged in sexual activity with them in 2007 when they were approximately 16 years old and he was serving as a boxing coach, according to Murray.
One charge (sexual battery) alleged that Barrientos engaged in sexual conduct with one girl, while the other charge (gross sexual imposition) alleged sexual contact.
Schmenk indicated that the allegations against Barrientos were first investigated after coming to light at the youngest child’s school.
“Thank God they (school officials) were there to look into the matter and discover, and bring this to a stop,” said Schmenk who described the crimes as “serious” and “heinous.”
Thursday’s hearing included a tearful statement from the young child’s mother, who addressed Barrientos.
“We’re affected by this, and you’ve hurt so many people,” she said. “I really don’t know what else to say to you because ... you know everything you did ... . I really hope you get at least 20. You should be having life.”
Barrientos said he was sorry, while Groth said “there is no good explanation, frankly, or reason for my client’s behavior and what he was convicted of and why he did these things. We looked into his background, which seems to be pretty normal and most of his daily interactions, his work history and his life seem to be pretty good, but there’s an aberrant streak here that is hard to explain, and he has certainly caused harm.”
Groth read a letter on Barrientos’ behalf, in which he apologized to those he hurt.