Gilroy man agrees to plea deal in sex-abuse case

Jesse Arias has been charged with sexually abusing a 15-year-old

A Gilroy man charged with sexually abusing a 15-year-old female
runaway who was living in his home has reached a plea deal with
prospectors and will face fewer than three years in prison,
according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.
A Gilroy man charged with sexually abusing a 15-year-old female runaway who was living in his home has reached a plea deal with prosecutors and will face fewer than three years in prison, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.

Jesse Arias, 52, agreed to the deal Thursday morning, Deputy District Attorney Stuart Scott said, almost three months after police arrested Arias at his home on Old Gilroy Street and prosecutors charged him with five counts related to lewd acts and child pornography.

The deal, done in part to prevent the 15-year-old victim from having to testify during a jury trial, reduces the charges to one count of lewd and lascivious on a child age 14 or 15, and one count of possession of child pornography, which included illicit photos of the victim, Scott said.

Arias originally pleaded not guilty to all charges. His recommended sentence will be two years and eight months, though he’ll likely serve less once its determined how much credit he’s accumulated during his nearly three months in custody, Scott said.

A sentencing hearing has been set for 9 a.m. Sept. 12. The maximum sentence Arias could have faced was six years in prison, Scott said.

Police were drawn to Arias’ home after a 20-year-old female Arias allegedly met May 21 at a Gilroy bus stop told police he raped her while she was under the influence of “an intoxicant,” according to the Gilroy Police Department.

Police obtained a search warrant after arresting Arias and discovered the 15-year-old, who had been living with Arias for several weeks.

Scott said the district attorney’s office does not intend to file charges related to the alleged 20-year-old victim but declined to give further information.

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