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UPDATE: Admitted Stevenson Ranch rapist sentenced to 43 years to life

Judge denies motion by Jerry Moon to withdraw his confession in brutal rape

Posted: March 25, 2013 11:16 a.m.
Updated: March 25, 2013 6:22 p.m.

Jerry Moon

 

SAN FERNANDO — A 19-year-old man who admitted to a brutal rape last year, then tried to withdraw his admission, was sentenced to 43 years to life in prison Monday after a judge said he couldn’t change his mind about the plea.

“In my 25 years on the bench, this is one of the most brutal and callous cases I have ever seen,” San Fernando Superior Court Judge Lloyd M. Nash told Jerry Moon of Stevenson Ranch. “I don’t have any qualms about giving you this sentence.”

The charges against Moon stem from the sexual assault of a Stevenson Ranch woman in January 2012.

As Moon was led handcuffed from court, he turned to his father seated 15 feet away and mouthed the words, “I’m sorry.”

Moon is expected to be transferred to a Level 4 state prison which, according to a state official, is the highest level of general population security in California prisons.

The sentence handed down Monday was part of a negotiated settlement when Moon pleaded guilty in December 2012. Moon must also register as a sex offender.

In December, Moon entered a plea of 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 his crimes, the victim was tied and bound. And he admitted that the sexual assaults occurred during a burglary.

After he pleaded guilty, his victim made a statement to the court.

She was assaulted after Moon broke into her home Jan. 8, 2012 about a half mile away from where Moon lived.

Evidence from the scene, including DNA evidence, led investigators to Moon, who was arrested Feb. 16, 2012.
He has remained in custody on $2.45 million bail.

In January, about a month after he entered his guilty pleas, Moon asked the court to withdraw his guilty plea.

“My lawyer made it seem I would be out on parole and that I would be able to see my family,” Moon said as he asked the judge to let him change his mind. “I will never see my parents and never get out to see them alive.”

But he received no sympathy from Nash, who told: “What you did was beyond description.

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

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.

At one point he told the judge, “I just want to go home.”

On Monday, Nash told him: “I do not find good cause to withdraw your plea. The motion is denied.”

In rendering his decision, he revisited Moon’s guilty plea and, at one point, held up a pink piece of paper — a court form itemizing Moon’s voluntary waiver of his constitutional rights.

The form indicated that Moon was not threatened or promised anything in exchange for his plea.

Moon said Monday: “When I was given the paper, (my lawyer) told me just to sign it. I didn’t read it.”

Nash asked him: “You signed your initials 15 times and you didn’t read anything?”

Moon again said: “She told me to sign it.”

“Did you read it?” Nash asked him.

“No,” said Moon.

“When I asked you previously if you read it, were you lying to me?”

At that point, Nash said that an accused person can withdraw his plea if he can show “good cause.”

The judge said he found no good cause to allow Moon to withdraw his guilty plea.

A restitution hearing was scheduled for Moon May 10.

Moon, however, is not expected to appear at that hearing.

jholt@signalscv.com
661-287-5527
on Twitter @jamesarthurholt

 

 

 

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