Pedophiles are getting less than a year prison time after a range of horrific acts, including raping kids under 14, a DailyMail.com investigation reveals.
Analysis of a California database of sex offenders shows thousands of child molesters are being let out after just a few months, despite sentencing guidelines.
Current and former sex crime prosecutors said the figures are ‘terrifying’ and ‘shameful’.
More than 7,000 sex offenders were convicted of ‘lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14 years of age’ but were let out of prison the same year they were incarcerated, data from the California Megan’s Law database says.
Others who committed some of the worst child sex crimes on the statute books served similarly short sentences, including 365 pedophiles convicted of continuous sexual abuse of a child who spent less than 12 months in prison, 39 cases of sodomy with a child under 16, and three cases of kidnapping a child under 14 ‘with intent to commit lewd or lascivious acts’, according to the data.
Former Los Angeles sex crimes prosecutor Samuel Dordulian told DailyMail.com he was ‘shocked’ by the statistics and described them as ‘frightening for society’.
‘Statistics clearly show that pedophiles don’t get reformed. They’re going to come out and they’re going to commit again,’ Dordulian said.
‘Letting these people out early, we’re allowing for a lot more victimization. And that’s terrifying.’
It is unclear whether the Megan’s Law database prison time statistics are similar for other states, as DailyMail.com was only able to obtain detailed sex offender data for California.
One offender in the database is Reseda, resident Carlos Alexander Nahue, 48, who was convicted of ‘continuous sexual abuse of a child’ in 2015.
His Los Angeles court records say he was charged in October 2014 and pled no contest to the crime in January 2015 – but was sentenced to just two days in an LA county jail and five years of probation.
He now lives one block from Royal Montessori School daycare and three blocks from Reseda Elementary School, according to the Megan’s Law database.
Noah Thomas Holt, from Watsonville in Santa Cruz County, was convicted in 2013 of lewd acts with an under-14-year-old, child pornography possession and indecent exposure.
The 31-year-old was convicted on a no contest plea in December 2013. But Megan’s law data says he was released within a year, and according to his Facebook page he started a new job at manufacturing company Threshold Enterprises in Scotts Valley, California in 2014.
Holt has posted several pictures with a young girl on his Facebook page. He was also convicted of a DUI in 2017.
Gualterio Lopez Contreras, 47, was charged in May 2014 with sodomy by use of force, sexual penetration by force, and continuous sexual abuse of a child.
He took a plea deal from Fresno county prosecutors, pleaded no contest to one count of a lewd or lascivious act with a minor in February 2016, and was sentenced to three years in Wasco State Prison.
But the court record says he was given credits of 790 days, which would leave just 305 days to serve, or less than a year.
A Megan’s Law record for Contreras from three years ago says he was released from prison in 2016. There is no longer a record for him in the current Megan’s Law database.
Mountain View resident Thierry Armand Costa, 61, was convicted in 2014 of lewd acts with an under-14 and using a minor to make child porn, but was released from prison the same year, according to the database.
His Santa Clara County court records say he was sentenced for the crimes in November 2013 but had two probation motions heard in his case in 2015. He also had a hearing to remove his records from the courts in October 2019.
According to his LinkedIn page, he worked as Vice President of Marketing for a software company in the Bay Area from 2010 until 2013, founded his own company GreenZone Security Software Inc between 2013 and 2015, and then got another VP Marketing role at ENENSYS Technologies in July 2015 – suggesting any prison time he served for the awful crimes was certainly over by 2015.
Like most states, California has a law requiring sex offenders to register their address with the Department of Justice, and to provide updates if they move house.
In 1996 the Clinton administration passed a law, named after a pedophile murder victim Megan Kanka, to require their information be published.
California’s Megan’s Law website, www.meganslaw.ca.gov, allows anyone to search for sex offenders, with details including name, age, residence, offenses, their mugshot, and the dates they were last convicted and released from prison.
DailyMail.com compiled the data of the 54,986 sex offenders who were listed on the website in July 2019 and analyzed the results.
It showed 41,794 (76%) committed offenses involving children.
DailyMail.com compared the published dates of these pedophiles’ convictions versus the year they were released from prison according to the Megan’s Law database.
The results showed that the average pedophile served two years and 10 months in prison.
LA attorney Dordulian said that was ‘surprisingly very low.’
‘In my days [in the LA DA’s office], we made every effort to get as long of a prison sentence as we could, because we knew that the minute they’re going to come out, they’re more likely to reoffend and another child’s gonna get harmed,’ he told DailyMail.com
The lawyer, who now represents victims of sexual abuse, pointed to policies backed by California Governor Gavin Newsom allowing for shortening of sentences to reduce the prison population.
‘With Newsom, they’ve passed a lot of legislation where they are allowing for resentencing, they’re allowing for people to come back and there’s a push to have less time spent in prison,’ Dordulian said.
‘That has been the push for the last at least five years: letting people out of prison much earlier than what their sentences were for.’
‘But these types of individuals, they’re not amenable to rehabilitation, and studies have shown that,’ he added. ‘They’re gonna harm another child.
‘It’s a very, very scary trend.’
According the US Justice Department, sex offenders are at least four times more likely than other criminals to be rearrested for a sex crime.
Some of the offenses committed by pedophiles in the Megan’s Law database were misdemeanors such as indecent exposure or attempting to send lewd pictures to children, and convicts received less jail time.
But the average time served for some severe and heinous crimes was similarly short.
The most common offense in the database was ‘lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14 years of age’, committed 19,441 times. Despite its severity, the average time served for this crime was just two years and 11 months.
And 7,152 pedophiles who committed this crime served less than a year.
Some 114 men who committed the even worse version of this offense, where the act against the under-14 child was ‘by force or fear’, ended up serving less than a year in prison, according to the data.
Others serving less than 12 months included 13 counts of aggravated sexual assault of an under-14 with intent to rape, three counts of kidnapping a child under 14 with intent to commit lewd or lascivious acts, five counts of assault with intent to rape an under-18, and two counts of pimping minors.
One child abuse prosecutor in the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office told DailyMail.com the situation was ‘a disgrace’.
Deputy District Attorney Jon Hatami added that the problem of short prison time for pedophiles was getting worse, not better. He blamed Proposition 57, a 2016 bill allowing early parole for nonviolent felons which was supported by his boss, LA DA George Gascón.
‘Thousands of child victims are being denied justice and George Gascón and his group of radical prosecutors can care less,’ Hatami said.
‘The CDCR [California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation] is not even notifying the child victims and their families of these early releases. It’s shameful.
‘Furthermore, most of these sex offenders who are released early have not been rehabilitated whatsoever. This will clearly endanger our future generation of children and our entire community.
‘It’s a disgrace that the state of CA is not prioritizing the safety and well being of our children.’
DailyMail.com was unable to conduct the analysis for offenders added to the database since 2019, because the California Department of Justice has added digital blocks on its website to prevent new data being gathered and analyzed.
The department also refused to hand over a current copy of the database – which should be public under Megan’s Law – to DailyMail.com.
And after we contacted the CA DoJ asking about the shocking statistics, the search function was removed from the Megan’s Law website, which is administered by the department.
However, last week the website did show that there are currently 61,770 sex offenders listed across California’s 58 counties, an increase of 12% since 2019. It is unclear how many of them are pedophiles.
A spokesperson for the Attorney General said the issue was the responsibility of local DAs, courts, and state lawmakers.
‘Public safety is a top priority for the California Department of Justice,’ the spokesperson said in an emailed statement.
‘It’s generally up to courts — in conjunction with locally elected DAs — to ensure the applicable statutes and sentencing guidelines are applied to cases based on the specific facts and circumstances. It’s largely up to legislators to enact those statutes.
‘Our office actively works with law enforcement across the state to protect our state’s children and families, whether that’s through conducting sting operations targeting sexual predators, issuing guidance to reduce harm to sexually exploited youth, or launching Human Trafficking and Sexual Predator Apprehension Teams.
‘Our state’s 58 district attorneys are on the front lines of enforcing criminal statutes to protect public safety on behalf of California’s nearly 40 million residents. Our office always stands ready to provide assistance, guidance, or oversight as necessary.’