In August 2009, a Stanton laundromat janitor lured an 11-year-old girl into a closet with the promise of free perfume, locked the door and sexually molested her.
At his 2011 trial in Orange County Superior Court, Nereo Del Valle won three convictions: kidnapping for child molestation, and two felony counts of lewd and lascivious conduct.
But the imprisoned Del Valle felt so wronged by the criminal justice system that he filed an appeal.
He claims that the kidnapping count wasn't fair because he merely pushed his victim into the closet when she reached inside to grab a perfume bottle he offered.
He also thinks he should get a punishment discount because he claims he only fondled the child's breasts, buttocks and vagina for “just a few moments.”
As proof that he didn't intend to commit disgusting crimes, Del Valle added that he “didn't even think” before acting, according to court records.
This week, a California Court of Appeal based in Santa Ana considered the complaints.
“The evidence shows Del Valle coaxed [the victim] to the storage closet and forcibly pushed her inside the closet before molesting her,” concluded Justice David Thompson for himself and justices Richard Fybel and Raymond Ikola.
The justices offered a one word label for the legal reasoning fueling Del Valle's appeal: “misplaced.”
Upshot: The 61-year-old janitor will continue to serve his 15 years to life punishment inside Ironwood State Prison in Blythe.