A 30-year-old man was sentenced to 24 years in prison Friday after being convicted on charges that he raped a 5-year-old girl while he was living with her family in North Aurora in the summer of 2000.
Adrian Ramirez-Alcantar, now of Warrenville, was convicted of two counts of predatory criminal sexual assault and criminal sexual abuse after a two-day trial in May.
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Alcantar didn't do himself any favors at his sentencing before Kane County Judge David Akemann on Friday. He maintained his innocence and wept for leniency, but about 15 minutes beforehand turned his back the victim and her mother seated in the courtroom and said in Spanish, "One day, I'll get out."
Alcantar told Akemann that he has a wife and three kids to support and that he did not harm the girl, who is now 17 and lives in West Chicago.
"I want you to understand me. I want you to have compassion. I am not lying," he said through an interpreter. "I don't want to pay for mistakes I didn't make."
Kane County prosecutors argued that Alcantar assaulted the girl several times while he stayed with the girl's family.
The girl testified she was watching a TV crime show in May 2010, realized what had happened to her and told her mother.
The girl and her mom saw Alcantar at a West Chicago festival in September 2010, and authorities began investigating.
"This minor child trusted this defendant and so did her family," argued Assistant State's Attorney Deb Bree in asking for a 24-year sentence.
During the trial, the girl identified Alcantar from the witness stand. She also testified he told her not to tell anyone or her parents would go to jail. She said Alcantar used a towel to cover her mouth during one of the assaults because she was crying out in pain.
Assistant Public Defender Rachelle Conant argued that Alcantar had a minimal criminal history and a long prison term would unfairly punish his family.
Alcantar must serve 85 percent of the first 20 years on his sentence, which comes to 17 years. For the remaining four years, he can have that period halved for good behavior.