Man sentenced in sex assault

News Photo by Julie Riddle Javier Gamez is led from the Alpena courthouse by sheriff’s deputies Monday after being sentenced to two to 5 years in prison for sex crimes.

ALPENA — An 18-year-old Alpena man was escorted from the Alpena courthouse on Monday, on his way to serving a minimum of two years in prison for sexually assaulting two women.

Javier Gamez pleaded no contest in the 26th Circuit Court to one count of being a sexually delinquent person and two counts of unlawful imprisonment. He was sentenced Monday to 24 months to 15 years in prison. He will also be listed by the state as a registered sex offender.

A no-contest plea is not an admission of guilt, but is treated as one for sentencing purposes.

Gamez is accused of assaulting two women, one 13 to 15 years old at the time and one 16, when he was 16 and 17 years old, at two different parties held at his residence.

Gamez had only a one-word response when Judge Michael Mack asked him if he had anything he wished to say before his sentencing: “No.”

Defense attorney Alan Curtis asked the judge to consider his client’s age at the time of the crimes as he imposed his sentence, reflecting that a mind is not fully formed until the mid-20s.

Two victim impact statements were shared before the sentencing. The mother of one of Gamez’s victims, voice and hands shaking, described her daughter as a happy, confident kid before the attack.

“From the day that he violated my daughter, her life has never been the same,” she said.

The News does not identify victims of sexual assault.

Her daughter, the mother said, is now insecure and secluded, her school- and home-life in shambles. She told the courtroom that her daughter was violated in her sleep when she was 13 years old, describing the victim’s struggles to fall asleep now and her terrors behind a locked bedroom door.

The second victim described the betrayal of being assaulted by someone she knew and considered a friend. Since the attack, she said, she has lost trust for everyone, even her own family, making even a trip to the store a terrifying experience and school so unbearable that she had to drop out.

“Half the time I feel like this is my own fault,” she said, her family and supporters holding back sobs in the seats of the courtroom. “But it’s his fault, because he violated me.”

Mack, before the sentencing, reminded Gamez that, in Michigan’s correctional system, a prisoner won’t be eligible for parole at the time of his minimum sentencing if he hasn’t taken responsibility for his crime and received sex offender treatment.

The judge’s words for the silent Gamez were stern.

“I can find no redeeming thing you have done the 18 years you lived on this rock,” Mack said as he handed down the sentence. “I have no problem sending you to prison, especially after the heinous, violent crime you committed.”

Gamez’s sentence begins immediately, with credit for one day served.

Julie Riddle can be reached at 989-358-5693 or jriddle@thealpenanews.com.