Rather than face a trial, three men and a teenage boy arrested for the rape of a 15-year-old girl at a Goleta elementary school accepted a plea bargain on Tuesday.
Cesar Avalos, 23, David Frausto, 20, Jacob Pizano, 19 and a 17-year-old boy were arrested and charged with rape, unlawful sex with a minor, rape of an intoxicated person and child molestation.
On Tuesday, the three men pleaded no contest to one felony count of rape of an intoxicated person and a misdemeanor count of child molestation. According to the terms of the deal, the charges of rape and unlawful sex with a minor were dropped. The 17-year-old defendant accepted the same terms at Juvenile Court.
The assault took place on Brandon School grounds in the early morning of Sept. 22, 2002. The victim was drunk at the time of the assault and did not remember anything about the encounter, but experienced vaginal pain and had various bruises and lacerations on her arms, legs, back and neck, indicating that she had been forcibly restrained. Deputy District Attorney Ron Zonen said subsequent DNA testing established the four defendants as the assailants.
The defendants will be registered as sex offenders for the felony rape of an intoxicated person. The charge of felony rape was dropped due to insufficient evidence.
The defendants accepted a sentence of one year in county jail and five years of probation. Any violation over that period would automatically sentence the offender to eight years in state prison, the maximum sentence for unlawful sex with a minor. If they violate parole by committing a felony, their jail time would be doubled and would count as their second strike.
The 17-year-old defendant agreed to a one-year sentence with credit for time served, and five years of probation. A violation would send him to a California Youth Authority Lockup for five years.
Avalos and Pizano will get credit for time served. Both have been in county jail since the time of their arrests last September.
The formal sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 25. Frausto, who posted bail soon after his arrest, will begin serving time on the 25th.