The father of a 13-year-old girl, who was the victim of a Yuba City man found guilty of sex abuse, pumped his fist when Judge David Ashby denied the defendant probation and sentenced him to seven years in state prison.
On Sept. 25, 2020, a Sutter County Superior Court jury found Buddie Raymond Minnick, 46, guilty of committing a lewd or lascivious act with a child under 14, sexual penetration of a minor under 14, and oral copulation with a minor under 14. The crimes took place in May 2020.
Friday was Minnick’s sentencing, and before the attorneys made their arguments, the victim’s father took the stand to make a statement. He said that Minnick should not be spared prison time because his daughter will never be able to get away from the trauma of Minnick’s crimes.
“He does not deserve to be in this society,” the victim’s father said.
The victim’s father started speaking in a composed tone but his anger and volume rose as he went on. Minnick looked down at the table he sat at next to his attorney during the statement.
“And you don’t have the guts to look at me!” the victim’s father yelled at Minnick. “... You’re a sick son of a (expletive)!”
He said his daughter loved Minnick and considered him a father figure. Minnick’s attorney Michael Sullenger objected to the language and tone the victim’s father was using and Ashby asked him to compose himself.
The victim’s father closed by repeating his belief that Minnick should be sent to prison.
The victim was in court on Friday but her statement was read aloud by another person in court. The victim described being “emotionally torn to pieces’’ by what she experienced. She said at times she feels uneasy around her father and men in general. Her eating habits have been negatively affected because of the trauma and she has received counseling in an effort to deal with the trauma, according to her statement.
“Nothing is the same anymore,” the victim wrote in her statement.
Sutter County Deputy District Attorney Diego Heimlich asked the court to follow the probation department’s recommendation and sentence Minnick to seven years in prison despite this being his first conviction.
Sullenger argued that Minnick should be placed on probation or be sentenced to one of the three counts he was found guilty of. He said the letter written by the victim was not consistent with how she testified in court during the trial saying she was not as certain in court as she was in the letter.
Sullenger asked that just as the judge should consider the impact on the victim he should consider the impact of a prison term on Minnick’s life and the fact that he will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
Ashby denied Minnick probation and made a point to say that he thought the victim’s testimony in court and her letter were not inconsistent and that she was a credible and well-spoken witness.
“The facts of the case are appalling,” Ashby said.
He said Minnick was the live-in boyfriend of the victim’s mother and planned when people would not be home for when he preyed on the victim by digitally penetrating her, engaging in oral copulation and placing the victim’s hand on Minnick’s genitals. Ashby said Minnick groomed the victim and that this was not a spur of the moment crime.
Until he is transported to state prison, Minnick will remain in Sutter County Jail where he has been since June 9, 2020.