Samuel Padilla-Velez has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for Lewd and Lascivious Molestation of a Child Under 16 and Sexual Battery by a Person in Familial Authority. Padilla-Velez was found guilty at trial of sexually assaulting a family member over a period of four years who was under his care and authority.
The evidence in the case consisted of the victims’ statements, forensic evidence found on the child’s bed sheets, her ability to describe the defendant’s genitals, and a spontaneous statement of the defendant that “it was not forced.” Expert witnesses and Law Enforcement were able to confirm the victim’s testimony.
The defendant was sentenced by Hernando County Circuit Judge Daniel Merritt, who emphasized the severity of the crime and the lasting impact it has on the victim and their family. The victim requested for the defendant to be spared the maximum sentencing. The judge took the victims wishes into consideration upon sentencing and stated that the sentence reflects the seriousness of the offense.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant State Attorney Angelina Rodeo.