BRATTLEBORO -- A local man facing up to life in prison after allegedly sexually assaulting a minor in April pleaded guilty to lewd and lascivious conduct with a child and a misdeamnor charge of delinquency.
Hector A. Vargas, 25, of Brattleboro, admitted to the felony and misdemeanor at Windham Superior Court: Criminal Division as part of a plea agreement on Thursday.
The mother of the 14-year-old victim, told the Reformer that Vargas was sentenced to a minimum of 28 months behind bars -- a penalty she feels is not nearly severe enough.
"I find it ludicrous, the amount of time he got," she said on Friday. "I’m kind of outraged."
She said she is upset because no lawyer approached her or her child to ask if a plea agreement with OK with them.
As a policy, the Reformer does not identify the victims of sexual assaults. To that end, we are not using the mother’s name to protect the victims identity.
The mother said Vargas’ plea is dissatisfying because now he will not have a trial, meaning her daughter won’t have an opportunity to address her attacker.
Her child is in the process of drafting a statement to Vargas and the victim’s mother said she will request that he be forced to watch a video statement from her child before he is released from jail. She said her child wants a chance to tell Vargas what he did and how it affected their life.
The mother said her child even had to start attending a private school; before people would constantly harass the victim and call him/her a liar.
A police affidavit described the victim’s account of the incident, which the Reformer previously reported.
On April 30, members of the Brattleboro Police Department were dispatched to a local school after one of the students said they had been sexually assaulted over the weekend.
According to the affidavit, Vargas, a convicted drug dealer out on parole, was walking along Flat Street and approached the minor and asked if they wanted to smoke marijuana.
The victim said yes and took a walk with him. After taking a couple "hits" of the marijuana, Vargas attempted to take off both his and the victim’s clothing.
Eventually, the victim was able to fend off Vargas’ attempts and fled to a friend’s house.
When police went to interview Vargas he denied knowing anyone by the victim’s name, smoking marijuana or being anywhere but his father’s house that day, according to Det. Lt. Michael Carrier.
Vargas told police that he went to his father’s house at about 9:30 a.m. on the day of the alleged offense and stayed there until 9:45 p.m., when his father gave him a ride home.
On May 2, Carrier said he spoke with Vargas’ father who said his son went fishing around noon that day and that he didn’t return until about 2:30 p.m.
Witnesses also said they saw Vargas smoking marijuana at his father’s house.
In 2008, Vargas was sentenced to serve four to five years, all suspended except for eight months for selling drugs and aiding in the commission of a felony.
Domenic Poli can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 802-254-2311, ext. 277.