What can society do with a 14-year-old serial rapist?
Jose Ignacio Avina, who at the time of this posting is 17, was just 14 years old back in 2004.
In 2004, on three separate dates between the 4th of October and the 15th of November, Jose Ignacio Avina robbed and orally and anally raped three boys who were between the ages of 12 and 14 while they were walking home from school.
A fourth boy, who was targeted an hour after Jose Avina had performed his last rape escaped from the knife-wielding teen before any sexual assault could take place.
During the trial, despite being visibly nervous, the three rape victims testified that Jose Avina had put a knife to their throats and raped them.
A medical specialist corroborated their stories, testifying that Jose Avina’s sperm was found in the victim’s rectums after the assaults were reported.
It was also mentioned that there was blunt force trauma evident inside these kids, along with tears in skin of the affected areas.
Tried as an adult, Jose Ignacio Avina was found guilty on the 13th of August in 2007.
If the judge agrees that Jose Avina should be sentenced as an adult, he faces a minimum of 25 years in prison.
If, on the other hand, the judge considers Jose a juvenile, Jose could get out of prison on his 25th birthday.
Robert DeKoven, a writer for the Gay And Lesbian Times had this to say about Jose Avina and his crimes:
I can’t help but think that Jose Ignacio Avina is being singled out because his victims are males and that his crime involves homosexual rape. And, by engaging in oral copulation with another male, his criminal profile is stigmatized as a “gay” crime.
There’s no adult penal facility that has the capacity for housing a violent gay teen, nor can it provide the kind of counseling and rehab that would prevent Avina from turning into a gay mass murderer (e.g., John Wayne Gacy, Jeffrey Dahmer). And, because of the nature of his crimes, Avina could be subjected to rape and even murder.
What sounds fair to you? Do we want a kid that is this messed up on the streets again? Does he deserve Hell?
The sentencing portion of the trial was originally supposed to get underway on the 30th of November, 2007, but was delayed a few times.
On the 13th of June, 2008, Jose Ignacio Avina was sentenced to 64 years to life in prison. Here’s the Orange County District Attorney press release:
SANTA ANA – An 18-year-old man was sentenced today to 64 years to life in prison for committing a series of forcible sodomies and robberies when he was 14 years old against three young boys as they walked to and from school in Anaheim. Jose Ignacio Avina, Anaheim, was directly filed and tried as an adult and found guilty by a jury on Aug. 13, 2007, of felonies for two counts of sodomy by force, one count of forcible oral copulation, one count of kidnapping to commit a sexual offense, two counts of kidnapping to commit robbery, two counts of second degree robbery, two counts of dissuading a witness by force or threat, and one count of attempted second degree robbery. The jury also found true the sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a deadly weapon.
On Oct. 4, 2004, then 14-year-old Avina approached 12-year-old John Doe #1, who was walking home from school. He forced the victim to go to the defendant’s house, held up a knife and threatened the victim. Avina sodomized John Doe #1 at his home.
On Oct. 27, 2004, the defendant approached 13-year-old John Doe #2, who was walking to school. Avina pulled out a knife and ordered the victim to move into an alley. He threatened and robbed the victim before the victim was able to run and escape.
On Nov.15, 2004, Avina attacked John Doe #3, 12, while the victim was walking to school. Avina forced the victim at knife point into a secluded storage unit. He robbed John Doe #3 and forcefully sodomized him. That same day, Avina attempted to rob another 12-year-old boy at knife point, but the victim was able to run away.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Kal Kaliban prosecuted this case.