A DC Superior Court judge sentenced a man to prison for sexually abusing a family member when she was approximately nine years old. During the proceedings, a prosecutor spoke to the difficulties of understanding what motivated the defendant’s behavior.
Ada Pineada pleaded guilty to second-degree child sex abuse in September. He was originally charged with both first and second-degree child sex abuse. During the Jan. 14 sentencing, a prosecutor said Pineada’s abuse of the young girl included forcible oral sex.
“There’s a little girl out there waking up in the middle of the night screaming because of what this defendant did to her,” said the prosecutor, who read a victim impact statement written by one of the girl’s parents during the sentencing. The parent explained in the letter that their daughter avoids leaving her room and doesn’t talk much. Her grades have suffered and she struggles to concentrate in school.
Pineada had previously admitted that he abused the victim to one of her parents over text. “He could not bear to live with what he had done,” his lawyer, Rachel McCoy, said.
The prosecutor said she believes that Pineada feels guilty for what he did and commends him for pleading guilty to the charge, but during the Jan. 4 hearing she accused him of minimizing his conduct and argued that this makes it harder to understand why he did what he did. She noted inconsistencies in his statements about the abuse.
McCoy said her client wants to receive treatment to “understand what’s going on with him.” But when asked by Judge Kravitz, McCoy said her client has not sought out treatment during the time he spent on release while awaiting sentencing.
“Mr. Pineada, are you able to say anything that can help me understand why you did this?” Judge Neal Kravitz asked the defendant during the Jan. 14 sentencing.
“The honest truth is, at this moment, I can’t explain what happened,” Pineada responded.
Judge Kravitz took a few minutes to think before handing down his sentence. “I find this to be a very difficult case,” he said afterward.
The prosecution and defense did not agree on a specific sentence as part of the plea deal but did agree on a range of 18 to 60-months. The prosecution asked Judge Kravitz to impose a 60-month sentence. The defense asked for his sentence to be fully suspended except for what time he has already served. The defendant was held at DC Jail for approximately 49 days following his arrest before his eventual release into the High Intensity Supervision Program.
“One of the things I always feel the worst about when I send people to prison is that prisons are horrible places and we should do so much better than we do for people while they are separated from the rest of us,” Judge Kravitz said. He imposed a 54-month sentence. Pineada will receive credit for time served.