Man argues for lesser sentence on criminal sexual conduct charge
WILLMAR -- A 23-year-old man facing sentencing on a charge of criminal sexual conduct reportedly plans to argue for a lesser sentence during a hearing next month, according to the Kandiyohi County Attorney's Office.
WILLMAR - A 23-year-old man facing sentencing on a charge of criminal sexual conduct reportedly plans to argue for a lesser sentence during a hearing next month, according to the Kandiyohi County Attorney’s Office.
Joshua Florez pleaded guilty in March to a felony charge of third-degree criminal sexual conduct - involving a helpless victim. Florez is alleged to have sexually assaulted an acquaintance in June at her Willmar home while she was asleep.
Florez was scheduled for sentencing this week. Sentencing was rescheduled for June 25 because Florez seeks to offer testimony from several different people during his argument for a departure from normal sentencing guidelines, Assistant Kandiyohi County Attorney Aaron Welch said during a phone interview.
According to the criminal complaint on the charges, a Willmar Police Department officer took report of the incident during the early morning hours of June 20 at the woman’s home.
The woman told law enforcement that she had been the sober driver that night for her boyfriend and for Florez. After the three arrived back at the couple’s residence, Florez reportedly fell asleep on the couch in a separate room and the woman and her boyfriend fell asleep in their bedroom.
According to the criminal complaint, she allegedly awoke to being penetrated and touched inappropriately by Florez.
The woman’s boyfriend told law enforcement that he was awakened by his girlfriend, who said Florez sexually assaulted her. He reportedly confronted Florez, at which time Florez fled the scene.
Florez’s defense attorney, John Mack, filed a document in October, arguing that the case should be dismissed.
“There is no reason to believe (Florez) thought (the victim) was asleep or unconscious. (Florez) had reason to believe she was inebriated, but so was he - and she was no more inebriated than he was. His own ability to know or have reason to know was at least as compromised as hers,” the document states.
Welch filed a document later in October opposing Mack’s arguments.
“Where a victim is asleep or unconscious at the time of the assault, there is ‘ample evidentiary support’ for a jury to find that a victim was physically helpless …” the document states. “The defendant suggests that the victim was intoxicated at the time of the assault. That ‘fact’ exists nowhere in the record; it is an invention of the defendant to blame the victim for what the defendant did to her.”
The court later denied the defense’s motion to dismiss the case.