No-contest plea in rape
A Marysville man could go to prison for 20 years for drugging, raping and prostituting a 15-year-old female runaway in July.
William Ray Walker, 45, pleaded no contest Monday in Yuba County Superior Court to rape by means of force, duress, violence, menace or fear and the employment of a minor for unlawful transactions. He will be sentenced June 28.
The crime is a strike, and because it was violent in nature, he must serve a minimum of 17 years before he can be paroled.
“This young girl has suffered tremendously due to the circumstances of her life, and the defendant took advantage of that vulnerability,” Deputy District Attorney Teresa Sydow said in a court filing.
“I think this is a case that highlights the amount of work that can go into a case, and in particular the amount of time Teresa spent with the victim,” said District Attorney Pat McGrath. “The victim was very pleased with the resolution of the case.”
Public Defender Ben Wirtschafter, who represented Walker, declined to comment.
Citlaly Guererro, 26, of Marysville, knew the victim and introduced her to Walker in July after the victim ran away from home.
Guererro was arrested after the assaults took place in between July 1 and July 12. She was convicted in December of one count of pandering a minor for prostitution and sentenced in February to six years in prison for her role.
Walker kept the victim drugged in a Linda apartment complex to where she could not fend off those who assaulted her.
Two men, Pascual Gamez, 50, and Gerardo Razo Bernal, 28, both illegal immigrants, are serving a year in prison each for lewd acts with the victim. They will be deported after serving their sentences.
Walker originally faced 15 felony charges, 13 of which were sex crimes, and he could have been sentenced to 66 years in prison if he went to trial and was convicted.
But prosecutors felt that putting the victim on the stand would case more harm to her than good.
State law prohibits putting a juvenile sex crime victim on the stand if it will cause them more harm, McGrath said.
“It's a classic example of having someone (Walker) we consider to be a really bad person that we would love to put away forever, but we have an obligation to this girl to get a conviction and being sure in the course of that we don't screw her life up,” McGrath said.
The victim could have been asked to testify, and she was afraid of being cross-examined by the defense, McGrath said.
“There was a real concern as to how much revictimization this child would go through if she had to testify,” McGrath said.
The victim now lives in a group home in the Central Valley. She is being treated for emotional and drug addiction problems, according to court records.
“The victim went through a very traumatic experience and under has been receiving counseling services,” McGrath said. “She's come a very long way (in recovering).”
McGrath credited the Sheriff's Department for following up on the report that led to her rescue. Although the District Attorney's Office did most of the investigation, McGrath said the Sheriff's Department made personnel available to help.
Appeal-Democrat reporter Daniel Witter can be reached at 749-4712. You may e-mail him at email@example.com.