Juarez to be sentenced for sexual assault in Willmar, Minn., alley, could get life
WILLMAR --The 52-year-old Willmar man found guilty of sexually assaulting a woman last summer in an alley near the Willmar Eagles Club will be sentenced at 2 p.m. this afternoon.
Jose Santoya Juarez will be sentenced by Judge Kathryn N. Smith in Kandiyohi County District Court. Smith determined in August that Juarez could be sentenced to life in prison for the crime.
Smith found Juarez guilty of first- and second-degree criminal sexual conduct, third-degree assault and kidnapping after a court trial in early August. The Kandiyohi County Attorney's Office sought a life sentence for Juarez, who has prior convictions for assault and sexual assault.
Smith ruled that Juarez's removal of his victim from the back door of the Eagles Club to a narrow alley 209 feet away, plus his previous conviction for sexual assault, constitutes the "heinous element" required by the state statute that allows prosecutors to seek life sentences for dangerous sexual offenders. The assault happened July 27, 2010.