RACINE — A Mount Pleasant man inked a plea agreement on Tuesday, seven months after he was accused of sexual relations with a 13-year-old girl he met online.
During a plea hearing on Tuesday, Salvador Q. Escobedo, 23, pleaded guilty to second-degree sexual assault of a child. The plea deal means Escobedo faces potentially more time behind bars than he has been alive, and his defense attorney, Patrick Cafferty, said Escobedo would have to register as a sex offender for life after he is sentenced this summer.
The charge is punishable by a maximum of 25 years behind bars and up to 15 years on extended supervision. However, as part of the plea agreement, Racine County Assistant District Attorney Dirk Jensen said he will recommend that Escobedo be sentenced to whatever amount of time is proposed by a Wisconsin Department of Corrections agent who will evaluate Escobedo before his sentencing.
But Circuit Judge John Jude warned he’s not bound by recommendations made by Jensen, the agent or Cafferty.
“I can impose whatever penalty I think is appropriate, including up to the maximum time,” Jude said.
The teen told investigators she met Escobedo through an app called Meetme, according to Escobedo’s criminal complaint. The girl reportedly said she posted on Meetme that she was 13.
Escobedo allegedly arranged to pick her up in Kenosha on June 24 and they went to Escobedo’s house. She said she told Escobedo she didn’t know if she wanted to have sex and mentioned their age difference, the complaint states. Escobedo allegedly assured the girl that it would be OK, the complaint states.
They had similar encounters at Escobedo’s house three times, the complaint states. One occurred on June 25, a second happened about a week later and the third occurred on an unknown date, according to the complaint.
Escobedo’s sentencing is set for June 17. He remains free on $5,000 cash bond, court records show.
“I can impose whatever penalty I think is appropriate, including up to the maximum time.”
— Racine County Circuit Judge John Jude, referring to the pending sentence of Salvador Q. Escobedo