Home UK News High schooler Romero ‘raped girl, 13, while selling contraband’

High schooler Romero ‘raped girl, 13, while selling contraband’

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Joseph Romero

Joseph Romero, 25, of Calgary, was sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison for the rape of a 13 year old girl. The offence was committed while selling contraband.

Justice Bruce Fraser decided on Tuesday that Joseph Kevin Power Romero should receive a sentence in the mid-single-digit range, as suggested by Crown Prosecutor Donna Spaner.

The judge of the Calgary Court of Justice had made a decision that Power Romero was guilty of sexually abusing the 13-year-old victim who he encountered after she asked him for some of his illegal items.

Fraser indicated that there were various aggravating circumstances that warranted a sentence greater than the two years of imprisonment and two years of probation requested by defence attorney Jim Edgett.

He pointed out that Power Romero had sexual intercourse with the victim without protection, and that “the victim was only 13 years old, while the offender was 25”.

He also mentioned that Power Romero showed no understanding of why he had committed the crime.

“The (psychiatric) report indicates that he demonstrated a lack of remorse and that he thought he did not do anything wrong and that he is a victim,” Fraser said.

“The pre-sentence report indicates the offender and his parents do not accept responsibility for his actions, which may affect mitigating his risk in the future.”

However, Fraser did not concur with Spaner’s claim that Power Romero had “groomed” or ‘manipulated’ his victim by unlawfully selling liquor and vaping items to her.

“The only prior contact (before the sexual assault) with the victim was acquiring and selling her illegal products she could not acquire on her own because she was a minor,” he said.

“He had a business of doing this and was selling to any minor that wanted his products. He made himself available at a junior high school where there were plenty of customers. The victim was just another customer.”

In the summer of 2020, the victim got in touch with power romero after learning his Snapchat username from a friend. They exchanged a few messages on Snapchat before deciding to meet up again in early September so the victim could buy something illegal from him.

He collected her from the street near her house and drove her to his parents’ house, where he engaged in sexual activity with her. Fraser rejected Power Romero’s insistence that he thought she was 16 years old, and also concluded that the victim did not agree to have sexual intercourse.

“Even if there was an air of reality to a defence of mistake of age and it was found he took all reasonable steps to determine her age, I would then go on to find on all the evidence the sex was non-consensual beyond a reasonable doubt,” Fraser said in his written decision convicting Power Romero.

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