Days after he was convicted by a jury, Jose Ivan Moreno Cervantes was sentenced Monday (May 7) to a mandatory life sentence in prison for raping and impregnating a 12-year-old girl in West Jefferson.
Cervantes, 36, was convicted as charged last week of the first-degree rape of a child whose pregnancy went undiagnosed into its eighth month, when a school official raised question.
The child then told authorities that Cervantes raped her three times, according to evidence presented during the trial.
Noting the victim’s bravery for testify against Cervantes, Judge John Molaison of the 24th Judicial District Court said during the sentencing hearing that adults are charged with caring and supporting children.
“It’s our obligation to protect them, and you did just the opposite,” Judge Molaison told Cervantes. “You preyed upon a child for your own sexual gratification.”
The victim gave birth in September 2015. DNA testing confirmed that Cervantes is the father. After he was booked, his family had the child sign an affidavit swearing that she impregnated herself with one of Cervantes’ used condoms. The victim willingly signed it only so that her son would have a father in his life.
Cervantes must serve life in prison without benefit of probation, parole or suspension of sentence.
Assistant District Attorneys Rachel Africk and Blair Constant prosecuted the case.