Downtown sex assault brings 20-year prison term
Judge John Collins told Trinidad Padilla the conduct he engaged in on April 21, 2013, when he physically and sexually assaulted a woman working alone at a downtown store, had a "huge impact" on both the victim and the community. He said it instilled fear in the minds of clerks and customers.
Padilla, 45, was under post-prison supervision at the time, on an attempted rape conviction from 2010. He was living in subsidized housing in the Yamhill County Jail because he was unable to find a place that would take him in the larger community.
He pleaded guilty in mid-April to three counts of first-degree sexual abuse and one count each of attempted rape and second-degree kidnapping, all Class B felonies. One count each of attempted rape and fourth-degree assault were dismissed as part of a plea agreement between Padilla's court-appointed attorney, Ted Coran of Salem, and Deputy District Attorney Ladd Wiles.
Collins sentenced Padilla to 20 years in prison, followed by 89 months, or more than seven years, of post-prison supervision.
"There are aggravating factors related to this sentencing agreement," Collins told Padilla. "One of them is that you were on post-prison supervision at the time. I want you to know how serious that is."
About 3 1/2 months passed between Padilla's plea entry and sentencing.
That time was used to evaluate the appropriate placement for him — the state Department of Corrections or the Oregon State Hospital. Wiles said evaluators ultimately concluded he was not suitable for hospital placement.
He gave this account of the incident:
Padilla had been maintaining a watch over the store for several days. He had become infatuated with the clerk, and his obsession precipitated the assault.
"He grabbed her by the throat and put his hand over her mouth in the back of the store," Wiles said. "When she resisted, he threw her to the ground and physically assaulted her.
"He told her to call the police, and then he threw her to the ground and physically assaulted her again," Wiles said. "She got away, ran to the area of Harvest Fresh and contacted the police."
Wiles said Padilla walked outside and called 911 himself. He described the incident to a Yamhill Communications Agency dispatcher and said he wanted to go back to prison.
In the earlier case, involving an attack on a 14-year-old girl, Padilla pleaded no contest to one count of attempted first-degree rape.
In exchange, two counts of first-degree sexual abuse and one each of first-degree rape, second-degree sexual abuse, third-degree rape and fourth-degree assault were dismissed.
He was sentenced to 56 months in prison and 120 months of post-prison supervision.
After completing his sentence, reduced by good time credits, he began spending his nights at the jail and his days in the community. He only managed to stay out of trouble for 49 days.
Coran said Padilla expressed a desire to get help with his condition and felt commitment to the state hospital would be the best option. Coran said he appreciated the state's willingness to explore that option.
"The crime was a cry for help," Padilla told the court. "I was feeling suicidal. I have mental problems.
"I know it was wrong to do what I did, and I'm sorry. I had a rough childhood. I'm bi-polar. I have learning disabilities."
Padilla went on to dispute Wiles' account of the incident. After he told the victim to call police, he did not physically and sexually assault her a second time, he said.
"It was a one-time thing," he said. "She ran out and I walked out."
Padilla pleaded with Collins to reduce the period of post-prison supervision. He said any amount held over him post-release would do him no good from a rehabilitation standpoint. He said he would rather have Collins convert the 89 months of post-prison supervision into actual prison time.
"Post-prison supervision is not about you," Collins said. "It's about the community being protected from you, and you are someone the community needs the most protection from.
Wiles read a statement from the victim who said she was attacked, abused and sexually assaulted by Padilla. She said she was terrorized in the tight-knit community in which she lives and works. She said she felt violated and degraded as a result.
She requested the harshest sentence possible, as community safety is threatened when people like Padilla are walking the streets.