Friday, October 30, 2015

Appellate Services Unit captures 24-year fugitive

It’s not often that a member of our Appellate Services Unit gets to capture a nearly 24-year fugitive from justice and have him be held accountable for his crimes. Thanks to the efforts of DDA Grace B. Parsons, Investigator Tim Day, and West Valley Division DDA David Collins, however, a convicted child molester was recently apprehended, sentenced to six years in prison, and ordered once again to register as a sex offender.

According to the facts to which the defendant stipulated when entering his plea, back in October of 1990, a 14-year-old female reported that her sister’s husband had sexually assaulted her approximately twice per week for the past two years, threatening to harm her and her sister if she told. 

When arrested, the defendant gave the name of Jose DeJesus Ibarra. He initially denied the allegations, claiming he only touched the victim on her rear end by accident. Upon further questioning, however, and after being played a tape recording of Ibarra talking to the victim on the telephone, which tape made clear Ibarra had indeed been molesting the victim, Ibarra admitted to fondling the victim on numerous occasions. Ibarra maintained the victim “wanted it.”

Jose DeJesus Ibarra was eventually charged, and in November 1990, he pleaded guilty to one count of committing a lewd act upon a child under the age of 14. In December 1990, Ibarra was placed on five years of supervised probation under several terms and conditions, to include he serve a 365-day jail term (with 66 days of credit). He was also ordered to register as a sex offender. 

In July and August of 1991, however, Ibarra failed to appear at the probation office after he was released from jail. Records show that in September of 1991, Probation visited Ibarra’s last known address and found his house vacant and padlocked, with a “for sale” sign on the lawn. Ibarra was violated on probation, and was not to be seen or heard from again—until nearly 24 years later, when he filed a motion to vacate his plea in May of 2015. 

In responding to the motion to vacate, DDA Parsons uncovered through state and federal records the fact that Ibarra’s true name was not Jose DeJesus Ibarra, as he had been prosecuted under, but was instead Calixto Topete Ibarra. 

DDA Parsons also discovered that Ibarra had violated his probation in 1991, and that an arrest warrant had been issued. After confirming with the Sheriff’s Department that the arrest warrant was still active, DDA Parsons asked for an investigator to be assigned to the case in order to locate Ibarra and have him apprehended. Investigator Tim Day of our Rancho Cucamonga office was assigned. Day used some good old fashioned police work to locate Ibarra, who was found living in Ontario with a new wife and several children. Day then arranged for the Ontario Police Department to arrest Ibarra. 

After receiving DDA Parsons’s opposition to Ibarra’s motion to vacate his plea, Ibarra’s counsel decided to withdraw Ibarra’s motion and asked to instead proceed on the probation violation. Ibarra was held on a no bail warrant, and now faced a three-, six-, or eight-year sentence. 

West Valley Division DDA David Collins was assigned to handle the Probation Violation hearing. Stressing the violent nature of Ibarra’s crimes, the two-year length of time Ibarra had molested his former wife’s young sister, and his failure to register as a sex offender for 24 years, DDA Collins asked the judge to sentence Ibarra to eight years in prison, while Ibarra’s attorney asked for the three years. Ibarra was sentenced to six years in state prison and his true name was also corrected on the record. He was again ordered to register as a sex offender.

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