Idaho judge sentences Nampa man for child sex crime. He could be out in 6 months

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A 49-year-old Nampa man will spend a minimum of six months incarcerated for a count of battery with the intent to commit rape against a preschool-age child.

Third District Judge Matthew Roker sentenced Hugo Vega Sandoval to up to 10 years in prison on Tuesday but retained jurisdiction in the case, according to a Wednesday news release from the Canyon County Prosecutor’s Office.

The sentence includes three years fixed in prison and seven years indeterminate, meaning in prison, on parole or a combination of both. But the judge’s decision to grant the defense’s request for a rider program means that Sandoval could be out of custody and placed on probation in 6-12 months, the news release said.

Sandoval’s sentence also requires him to register as a sex offender, submit a DNA sample to the state database, have no contact with the victim and have no unsupervised contact with a minor for 15 years.

Sandoval entered an Alford plea to a charge of battery with the intent to commit a serious felony (rape), meaning he acknowledged that the prosecution had enough evidence to convict him at trial but didn’t admit to the crime.

He was initially charged in July 2021 with one count of lewd conduct with a minor under 16 and one count of sexual abuse of a child under 16, after a family member caught him victimizing a young child, according to the news release.

Roker said he was concerned that Sandoval was “admittedly a generational offender,” the release said, and also had offended on animals. He also expressed concern about Sandoval’s position of power as a pastor in his community, according to the release.

Despite that, the judge ignored the prosecution’s request that Sandoval be sentenced to three years fixed in prison and 12 years indeterminate. The defense asked for three years fixed, followed by five years indeterminate, but requested that the court retain jurisdiction.