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Concord man gets 18 years for sexual assaulting child in laundromat

A man charged with three felonies for sexually assaulting a girl under the age of 10 in a Concord laundromat in 2017 was sentenced Tuesday in a Martinez courtroom to 18 years in state prison.

Jose Chavez, 62, was initially charged with oral copulation or sexual penetration of a child under 10, forcible lewd acts upon a child and four counts of lewd acts upon a child after his arrest by Concord police on July 11, 2017.

Investigators said the victim’s grandmother was doing laundry at a business on Monument Boulevard while Chavez “discretely victimized” the girl, and the crime went unnoticed at the time. But the crime was apparently captured on the business’s surveillance cameras.

Chavez was identified as a suspect and arrested later that day. When asked to comment on his client’s behalf, defense attorney Matt Cuthbertson called the case “fairly cut and dry,” saying that much of the conduct Chavez had been accused of had been captured on video. Chavez pleaded guilty to one count of forcible lewd acts upon a child and one count of lewd acts upon a child for two reasons: it was initially charged as a life-in-prison case but this plea bargain allowed for the possibility of his eventual release, and it spared the victim from the ordeal of having to testify against her abuser in court.

“That’s not uncommon,” Cuthbertson said.

Chavez has 604 days credit for time served, but he will still be in his late 70s when released from prison. He has unspecified health complications, Cuthbertson said, so it’s not clear that Chavez will live long enough to see the end of his prison term.

When and if Chavez is released, he will have to register as a sex offender. He was also ordered to submit a DNA sample to the state.

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