Convicted sex abuser sentenced to 10 years
A Washington man accused of multiple charges of sexual abuse in Columbia County was sentenced to 10 years in prison this week.
Erick Wenceslao Itza Briceno, 37, was sentenced on Wednesday, Sept. 11, to 120 months in prison with credit for time served after entering a no contest plea a month earlier in response to four felony sex crime charges.
He is also subject to 10 years of post-prison supervision and must register as a sex offender.
Itza Briceno was arrested in January 2018 on multiple counts of first-degree rape and sexual abuse after several victims told law enforcement they had been groomed and abused by him when they were between the ages of 9 and 14 years old while living in Columbia County. He was also indicted early this year on additional charges after another victim alleged abuse when she was younger than 14. At least two of the victims were related to Itza Briceno.
Before entering the no contest plea last month for one count of attempted rape, two counts of sexual abuse, and one count of sodomy in the first degree, Itza Briceno faced more than 22 felony charges, ranging from rape to sexual abuse in one case, and an additional five charges of sodomy and sexual abuse.
During the sentencing Wednesday, several women identified as the mothers and grandmothers of victims spoke in court, including one woman who spoke via phone. Assistant Deputy District Attorney John Berg also read a text
message from a family member of a victim who could not attend.
Several of the women stated that they did not forgive Itza Briceno for his actions, but expressed gratitude and relief that he would serve time in prison and not be able to cause further harm to children.
At several points Itza Briceno laughed during the women's statements. Columbia County Circuit Judge Jenefer Stenzel Grant admonished Itza Briceno for not showing the women or courtroom respect or expressing any remorse for his actions. Based on his behavior throughout the legal process, Grant also described Itza Briceno as a "narcissistic person who is not concerned about the feelings of others."
Itza Briceno, who had a Mayan interpreter help translate the court proceedings, at times spoke through the interpreter and at other times spoke in English to the court.
Itza Briceno defended himself and said he felt he had been discriminated for his appearance, and said he only agreed to many aspects of the plea deal just to be done with the court proceedings.
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