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100 Year Prison Sentence

, Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Fri, November 2 2012 at 4:16 PM, Updated: Fri, November 2 2012 at 4:27 PM

100 years in prison...

That's the sentence that was handed down this morning to a Klamath Falls man convicted last month on 14 counts of rape, sodomy, and unlawful sexual penetration.

The sentence was handed down by Judge Marci Adkisson...

"The defendant will be serving 100 years in the penitentiary."

A jury found 33 year old Juan Carlos Diaz 'guilty' of repeatedly sexually abusing a female relative under the age of 12.

Diaz maintains he is innocent...

"I have spoken to my Father the Lord.  I said, 'I have been found guilty of a crime of which I have not committed' - I don't want my freedom to be taken away."

Diaz' lawyer Stephen Hedlund pled for leniency...

"And we are asking the court to impose the minimum of 25 years."

Klamath County Deputy District Attorney Sharon Forster notes that Diaz could have faced a sentence of over 300 years under 'Jessica's Law'...

"If you stop at the first one you get 25 years.  You keep going, the law allows us to stack those."

The mother of the victim addressed the court through an interpreter...

"I am asking to have the heaviest load of the law on him.  I want that."

Diaz also suggested a sentence to the judge...

"I offer that you take my limb off - and cut my tongue off - take my private member off - and to please Sharon Forster, cut both of my limbs off."

Diaz will not be eligible for early release.

While the case was tried before a jury, Judge Adkisson noted that she would have found Diaz 'guilty' given the evidence presented at trial...

"As tempting as it was to sentence you to 300 years, as Ms. Forster requested, I feel that 100 years is appropriate."

The judge denied a request for a 72 hour release for Diaz prior to his transport to prison.  Diaz had requested the 3-day release to say 'goodbye' to his family.

About the Author

Lyle Ahrens

KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's.  He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.

Lyle's job history is quite colorful.  He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand.  A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer.  In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.

Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.  "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain.  Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".

When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.

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