[Note: It is always good to see a police officer go to prison ... and I do not have a bit of sympathy for this man ... consider how often police officers have framed innocent homosexuals in the past, and threatened them by announcing that 'when you get to prison we will make sure all the other inmates know about you and how you are and what you are ... well, now turn about is fair play, in my opinion, and I trust that when the man gets out of prison in maybe 12 to 15 years, he will be forced to be on the sex offenders registry for the rest of his life, like 'sex offenders' he and other officers have arrested and hassled in the past. PAT]
Ex-cop's plea for probation denied
San Antonio (Texas) Express-News
The 12 minutes former San Antonio police officer Dean Gutierrez spent with a transsexual will cost him more than 24 years in prison, a federal judge decided Friday.
U.S. District Judge Xavier Rodriguez sentenced Gutierrez to 24 years and four months for the aggravated sexual abuse of Gabriel Bernal, 23, formerly referred to as "Starlight."
Gutierrez, who turns 47 today, begged and pleaded for probation while his attorneys painted him as a good family man and officer whose actions on June 10, 2005 were out of character.
"He (served as a police officer) responsibly, but for the 12 minutes of the 25 million minutes that he's lived," said Eddie Garcia, one of his lawyers. "He's not only a good officer, but a good man."
In a lengthy and emotional statement, Gutierrez said he comes from a churchgoing household and asked for a chance at redemption.
Dressed in a white jail top and white-and-black striped pants, Gutierrez told the judge he lost his mother when he was 10 but helped raise his four siblings with the guidance and faith in God. Gutierrez said his conviction made his life, marriage and family suffer.
He also said he served his country during six years in the Marines and had an unblemished record during his 16 years with the police force. He said he now does not leave his jail cell because he is terrorized by inmates who have threatened him.
"If you send me to any prison, anywhere, I will not survive," Gutierrez said, tears streaming down his face. "I plead to you, please release me. ... I'm asking for just one chance. ... Please consider probation — 20, 30, 40 years. I'll do that."
His statement never directly mentioned remorse for the victim, who urged the judge Friday to give the officer a life sentence.
"When I cried and begged him to stop and told him I had HIV, he kept going. He didn't care," Bernal, who lives as a woman, told the judge. "You should have no pity for him because he had no pity for me."
At trial in August, federal jurors convicted Gutierrez of willfully violating the civil rights of Bernal resulting in bodily injury, and also found that the conduct involved aggravated sexual abuse.
According to testimony, Gutierrez forced Bernal into his squad car at Zarzamora and Laredo streets, and took Bernal to a dark, secluded area. Bernal said the officer then struck her in the face with his hand and on the leg with his police baton as he raped her.
Gutierrez did not testify at his trial. But his lawyers claimed in closing arguments that Gutierrez admitted having consensual oral sex with Bernal, but denied sodomizing her.
The judge noted Gutierrez has not been remorseful in the eyes of the judicial system. Letters mailed to the judge by Gutierrez's supporters, the judge said, show Gutierrez asked his church for forgiveness for his "moral transgressions," but denied that he committed a crime.
The judge told the audience, which consisted largely of Gutierrez's family and friends, that the evidence showed Gutierrez broke the law.
Federal sentencing guidelines — which are based on a point-scoring system — recommended Gutierrez's punishment at life in prison.
The judge, however, found that some of the calculations appeared to count double against Gutierrez for the same activity, and Rodriguez determined that the applicable guideline range was 292 months to 365 months instead. The judge then opted to sentence Gutierrez to 292 months.
Gutierrez's lawyers said they plan to appeal the conviction and sentence.