Jose Ilo Santos, a 62-year-old man convicted of sexually abusing a then 7-year-old girl last year, was sentenced yesterday to 60 years in prison.
“Mr. Santos, you brutally took away the innocence of this young child. Today you will know justice!” Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho told the defendant.
Santos, also known as Grandpa Ping, was calm and leaned slightly forward while sitting on the defense table, looking intently at the judge during the sentencing.
For the two counts of sexual abuse of a minor in the first degree, the defendant was sentenced to the total maximum of 60 years, to be served without the possibility of parole.
Santos was given credit for 669 days of time served. He was required to register as a sex offender.
Santos was 61 at the time of his arrest. With the sentence, his expected release will be in 2071 at the age of 121.
Camacho took special note of the victim's courage and bravery to testify in open court, in front of strangers, and talk about all the things that Santos did to her.
The judge recalled how the child used a tiny finger to point out Santos in court, the person she called “Grandpa Ping” and how he took her into his apartment and sexually abused her.
Camacho said the violence done to the girl was so severe that nine days after the incident, doctors at the Commonwealth Health Center could still see the signs.
Santos, through an interpreter, had asked the court for mercy and leniency. His counsel, Chief Public Defender Douglas Hartig, recommended a 24-year sentence with the possibility of parole.
Assistant attorney general Margo Brown recommended the full maximum sentence of 60 years.
Given Santos' age, Hartig said said the prosecution is asking for the death penalty. He said they are only asking for a thread of compassion and little hope.
In an interview with reporters later, Brown said she recommended the maximum sentence due to the victim's age and the extent of the abuse, among other factors.
Brown said the judge's maximum sentence is a strong message to victims of sexual assault and sexual abuse in the Commonwealth that if they come forward, the government will prosecute the perpetrators to the fullest extent of the law.
Hartig refused to comment.
The Office of the Attorney General charged Santos with two counts of sexual abuse of a minor in the first degree for molesting the girl on April 23, 2011, and May 7, 2011, at his house in Tanapag.
A jury found Santos guilty on Oct. 18, 2012.