Crime

Man gets 24 years for molesting girl, 9

A Fresno man was sentenced Friday to 24 years in prison after he confessed to molesting a 9-year-old girl over a period of several months.

Mokhtar Sayed Ferbrache, 24, was arrested in July 2003 after police asked TV station ABC30 to air photographs of a man molesting a girl who was wearing a T-shirt of a Clovis school.

Once the photographs were aired on television, Ferbrache surrendered to police. He and the girl's family knew each other, police said.

Judge Rosendo Peña said Ferbrache should be punished because the victim was vulnerable and the defendant "took advantage of a position of trust." The judge also took into account Ferbrache's lack of a criminal record and that he confessed.

The prison sentence, Peña said, achieves two goals: Ferbrache could be rehabilitated in prison, and the public is protected from him.

Defense lawyer Roger Nuttall had no qualms with the prison sentence, saying Ferbrache has remorse for the victim, and that he spared the victim from going to trial by pleading no contest in July to 12 counts of child molestation and lewd and lascivious acts.

In a written statement, the victim told the judge that she will be traumatized for life, and that Ferbrache should spend 100 years in prison.

Under the plea deal, the prosecution agreed that Ferbrache's sentence should be between 20 years and 24 years, Nuttall said.

Ferbrache, who has a mohawk haircut and wore a red jail jumpsuit, said little in his defense, other than telling his lawyer that he was not blaming the child.

Nuttall said that Ferbrache has depression and had tried to take his life while in jail. Because of time served in jail, Ferbrache has less than 20 years left on his prison sentence, Nuttall said.

Once he is released, he will be a registered sex offender with his DNA and a blood sample on file.

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