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UPDATED: Man charged in brutal rape withdraws guilty plea

Prosecutor warns she will seek maximum sentence against 19-year-old

Posted: January 30, 2013 2:03 p.m.
Updated: January 30, 2013 6:29 p.m.
Jerry Moon. Jerry Moon.
Jerry Moon.

SAN FERNANDO — Amid tears and protestations, an alleged sex offender asked the court to withdraw the guilty plea he entered last month to charges of forcible rape and other counts in the brutal sexual assault last January of a Stevenson Ranch woman.

Jerry Moon, 19, a stout man with standard framed glasses whose hands were cuffed in front of him, made a tearful plea to Superior Court Judge Lloyd M. Nash to withdraw his guilty plea.

Moon’s lawyer, Wayani Taylor, began the scheduled sentencing hearing in San Fernando Superior Court by telling the judge: “My client wants to withdraw his plea.”

On Dec. 12, Moon had agreed to enter a plea that would get him 43 years to life in prison, Deputy District Attorney Julie Kramer said at the time. On Wednesday he asked to withdraw it.

Rather than agreeing to toss out the plea deal, Nash scheduled a hearing for next month at which time he is expected to rule on Moon’s change of plea.

“My lawyer made it seem I would be out on parole and that I would be able to see my family,” Moon said.
“I will never see my parents and never get out to see them alive,” he said, turning around to face his father seated in the near-empty courtroom, tears in his eyes.

Moon’s father said the family is in the process of hiring a new lawyer for his son and will be hiring a new psychiatrist, as well.

The agreement entered last month called for Moon to plead guilty to four criminal counts, including one count of forcible rape, two counts of sexual penetration by a foreign object by means of force, and one count of forcible oral copulation.

He also admitted that during commission of the crimes he tied and bound his victim and that the sexual assault occurred during commission of a burglary.

Investigators in the case called the crime particularly brutal.

“What you did was beyond description,” Nash told the 19-year-old from the bench.

“If the victim testifies in front of a jury,” he said, “I can imagine a harsher sentence” than 43 years.

On Wednesday, Moon blamed his actions on heroin.

“How could I let this happen?” he said through tears during the hearing. “I was using drugs since the age of 16. I was using heroin.”

The court clerk had to request Moon repeat statements at least twice due to his crying and mumbling.
At one point he told the judge, “I just want to go home.”

The prosecutor warned Moon that he would receive no breaks if the case goes to trial.

“There will be no offer and the people will be seeking the maximum sentence,” Kramer said.

“The victim in this case has a right to a speedy sentence,” she said.

Nash told Moon he could face multiple life terms if he’s found guilty during a trial. The complaint against him charged 17 criminal counts, including first-degree burglary, two counts of attempted murder, five counts of sexual penetration by a foreign object, two counts of forcible oral copulation, three counts of forcible rape and one count of false imprisonment.

Nash told Moon the deal he agreed to accept was a good one.

“You have good lawyers,” he said. “This is the best they could do for you.”

“If you withdraw your plea, it could be worse.”

Moon was charged with an attack on Jan. 8, 2012, in a home near where he lived. Detectives said they linked Moon to the attack through property and DNA evidence.
on Twitter @jamesarthurholt




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