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Valpo man gets maximum 50 years for child molesting

Gutierrez Arthur 2011  Arthur Gutierrez for GUITIERREZ-PTB-0302       Porter County Sheriff's Detectives arrested 31

Gutierrez, Arthur 2011 Arthur Gutierrez for GUITIERREZ-PTB-0302 Porter County Sheriff's Detectives arrested a 31 year old Valparaiso man on a Child Molestation charge today around noon. Porter County Detectives went to Maison Royale Apartments in Valparaiso, where he lived and worked as a maintenance man, and arrested Arthur Gutierrez Jr for A - Felony Child Molesting. Gutierrez is accused of molesting his estranged girlfriend's daughter between 2007 and 2010 in her Liberty Township residence. The victim was 4 years old when the molesting started. The victim came forward on Friday February 25th and reported the incident to police, which was the same day that Gutierrez bonded out of Porter County Jail on an unrelated Child Molesting charge through Valparaiso PD. Gutierrez posted a $5,000 cash bond and $50,000 surety bond on Friday. Gutierrez is currently being held with no bond at the Porter County Jail. Formal charges are expected to be filed later this week with the Prosecutor's Office. Photo provided to the Post-Tribune | Provided Photo~Sun-Times Media ptmet

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Updated: May 21, 2013 6:26AM



VALPARAISO — A Valparaiso man found guilty of child molesting on March 20 still maintained his innocence Friday while he received the maximum sentence of 50 years in prison.

Arthur Gutierrez, 33, said he plans to appeal his conviction for Class A felony child molesting, decided by a jury after about three hours of deliberation.

Gutierrez said he would fight it and that he didn’t take a generous plea agreement because he wanted to be found not guilty.

“I am not like this,” he said. “I could not give up my son.”

Porter Superior Court Judge William Alexa said he looked over his notes of the trial carefully before Friday determining that aggravating factors for sentencing were that the victim in the March trial was younger than 12, Gutierrez was in a position of trust and Gutierrez had a criminal background.

He mentioned Gutierrez’s attitude during the trial and his attempts to ingratiate himself with the jury, but Alexa centered on the testimony of the girl he abused from ages 4 to 7.

“It was the type of description that no one could have coached her on. She had to experience it,” Alexa said.

He also noted that in an August 2012 trial, the jury didn’t find Gutierrez not guilty or guilty. The alleged victim in that case was a mentally handicapped girl, and the Porter County Prosecutor’s Office decided not to try it again.

Gutierrez will not get probation time out of that 50-year sentence, and because it is a Class A felony molesting crime, he will not get the standard time off for good behavior. Good time credit is usually one day off for each day served with good conduct, but for this crime, it is a day off for every three served.

Gutierrez will serve at least 37 years and six months.

He will also have to register as a sexually violent predator.

Deputy Prosecutor Rebecca Buitendorp said Gutierrez intimidated the victim and had hit her. And the girl saw Gutierrez hit her mother, too, Buitendorp said.



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