Corrects city of identification for Downs
A Newhall man pleaded no contest to 15 counts Thursday related to a string of sexual assaults in the Santa Clarita Valley.
"(Michael Downs) received 15 years and 4 months in state prison," said a San Fernando Superior Court official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to talk to media. "The maximum time he was facing was 267 years to life in prison."
The official said Downs was required to serve 85 percent of that time due to California sentencing laws.
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"He had credit for a total of 451 days, 392 actual days and 59 good-time/work-time days," the official said. "He’s going to have to do about13 years before he's eligible for parole."
Downs, who was 19 when he was arrested, faced 34 sex-related charges involving 15 victims, one as young as 12 years of age. Thirty-three of the charges were felonies and one was a misdemeanor.
Those charges included unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor, sexual penetration with a foreign object, oral copulation with a person under 16, sexual battery and sending harmful matter.
The sexual assaults occurred over a 19-month period between May 2010 until Downs was taken into custody in December 2011, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department officials.
Judge Hayden Zacky presided over the case.
Downs was prosecuted by Julie Kramer, deputy district attorney for the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office. Ralph Jacobson was the public defender in the case.
"The plea agreement was part of the negotiated settlement to the case," said Sandi Gibbons, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.
"Our victim assistance worker representative has contacted the victims and their families to inform them of the court date (Thursday), and of the planned disposition of the case," Gibbons said.
"There was no one who contacted us to object, and only one of the victims and her parents appeared in court at today's hearing," Gibbons said. "That victim did not wish to make an impact statement."