HUDSON — A Guatemalan national was sentenced in Columbia County Court on Thursday for raping a 13-year-old and said he wanted to be deported.
Columbia County Judge Jonathan Nichols sentenced Marvin R. Vasquez Morales, 22, to three-and-a-half years in state prison and a period of post-release supervision of five years for second-degree rape, a class D felony.
The abuse occurred early in 2018, police said. Morales was arrested Sept. 20, 2018, by state police and has since been held without bail in Columbia County Jail.
The maximum sentence for second-degree rape is a minimum of one year to a maximum of seven years in prison.
In determining Vasquez’s sentence, Nichols said he took into consideration the pre-sentence report, which he reviewed, as well as the plea and the underlying facts and circumstances, particularly the victim’s circumstances and age.
Nichols said the prosecution agreed to remain silent at sentencing given the defendant’s guilty plea, leaving sentencing to the discretion of the judge.
A full stay-away order of protection was filed by the court against Vasquez on behalf of the victim at the request of Columbia County Assistant District Attorney Ryan Carty.
The investigation began last Sept. 12 after police were tipped off by the Columbia County Child Advocacy Center that a possible rape had occurred in Copake against a 13-year-old victim.
Vasquez and the alleged victim knew each another, police said.
“They began an intimate relationship earlier this year resulting in sexual contact,” according to a statement from state police at the time of the incident.
An English-to-Spanish interpreter was present in court Thursday to help Vasquez understand what was being said during his court proceeding.
Before sentencing, Nichols asked Vasquez if he wanted to make a statement. Vasquez has a right to make a statement or remain silent, Nichols said.
Vasquez said, through the interpreter, “I just want to be deported, and, in reality, I don’t plan on coming back. Thank you.”
Vasquez is originally from Guatemala, but was living in Copake at the time of the incident. Defense attorney Ian Crimmins told the court Vasquez will be deported after his sentence is served.
Morales was in Columbia County working on a farm at the time of the incident, according to a statement from the district attorney’s office. It is not known if he was in the country legally or illegally, according to the DA’s office.
To reach reporter Amanda Purcell, email to email@example.com, or call 518-828-1616 ext. 2500, or tweet to @amanadajpurcell.