GREENVILLE — Hermelando Caricio Chacon, 29, will spend five years in prison after pleading guilty to one count of Rape, a first-degree felony, in Darke County Common Pleas Court on Thursday.
Chacon originally faced five felony charges stemming from an October 23, 2016, incident in which he raped a 13-year-old female. An undocumented alien from Mexico, Chacon has been residing in Greenville and working at a local restaurant for an unknown length of time. He has been incarcerated in the Darke County Jail since his arrest.
Both the prosecution, represented by Assistant Prosecutor Deborah Quigley, and Chacon’s defense attorney, Andrew Pratt, mutually recommended the court impose a five-year prison sentence as part of a plea agreement.
By pleading guilty, Chacon avoided a jury trial and saw four of the five counts against him dismissed, including a second Rape count, two counts of Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor and one count of Abduction. The maximum penalty for the single rape charge could have resulted in an 11-year sentence and a $20,000 fine. If he had been convicted on all five counts, Chacon faced up to 37 years in prison and $70,000 in fines.
In accepting the plea and handing down the sentence, Judge Jonathan Hein spoke slowly in order that Chacon’s court-provided Spanish interpreter could clearly explain the court’s proceedings to him. The defendant was largely silent, providing mostly “yes” or “no” answers to the court.
When asked by the judge if he had any mental health issues, Chacon responded, “I only feel sad.”
As a result of the plea agreement, Chacon has no right to appeal and will not be considered for early release from prison for good behavior. Judge Hein credited Chacon with 82 days already served at the Darke County Jail.
The father of the victim spoke to the court before sentencing, calling the sentence “utterly ridiculous.”
“My daughter, who’s 13 years old, has to live with this for the rest of her life, and this man, in five years, is going to be free, before she’s an adult,” he said.
Chacon, if not immediately deported to Mexico following completion of his sentence, will be subject to five years of community control, and will be listed as a Tier 3 sex offender for the rest of his life.
Asked if justice had been served, Quigley said, “I can’t say justice was served, because you can’t change the fact that you have a child who is impacted by a very serious offense. We came to what we felt, and we talked to the family extensively about this case, we came to a resolution that we felt that everyone could live with.”
Quigley said she expected Chacon would likely be deported after he’s released.