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Sun, Sept. 22

Suarez is sentenced to 7 years

KINGMAN – A 30-year-old man who one month ago pleaded guilty to sexual assault on a 15-year-old girl was sentenced to seven years in a state prison on Thursday.

Oscar Suarez-Muniz was quiet at his sentencing hearing, only telling Judge Steven Conn to be “fair with me concerning time,” he said through an interpreter.

Suarez and a co-defendant, Juan Carlos Zubiate-Ortiz, 22, are citizens of Mexico who were living in Kingman when the rape occurred. Zubiate-Ortiz is charged with sexual assault, sexual abuse, sexual conduct with a minor and kidnapping. He was scheduled for a change of plea on Thursday but the hearing was rescheduled for March 30.

Suarez accepted an Alford plea, which means he claims he’s innocent but admits that sufficient evidence exists with which the prosecution could convince a judge or jury to find him guilty.

According to police and court documents, on Nov. 22, 2004, the victim and a friend attended a party at a home in the 2600 block of Chicago Avenue. The victim told police that the two suspects invited her into a bedroom. The door was locked behind her and the two men took turns holding her down and raping her.

Prosecutor Greg McPhillips said the victim was examined that night and DNA evidence was found on her that belonged to Suarez. Suarez denied ever having sex with the victim.

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