Grandfather admits to attempted sexual abuse

A grandfather admitted to inappropriate sexual contact with his non-biological granddaughter on March 25.

Jose Perez Enriquez, 56, of Hood River, pled guilty in Circuit Court on March 25 to first-degree Attempted Sex Abuse and a related misdemeanor charge of Harassment. His sentencing with limited jail time and a stronger focus on treatment was exactly what the mother of the young victim had requested, according to Sex Crimes Prosecutor Shelley Webb.

"This was the resolution she wanted because he (Enriquez) would not have to be deported and her daughter would not have to endure a trial," said Webb. "Now it's up to Mr. Enriquez to successfully complete his treatment or face some time in prison if he doesn't."

The Mexican national was given up to 30 days to arrange a leave of absence from the fruit processing plant where he works and report to NORCOR for a one-month stay. Following his release, Enriquez will be placed on an 18-month probation which includes sex offender treatment and prohibitions against any unsupervised contact with minors or access to pornography.

In addition, he was ordered to pay $2,500 for the victim, now 13, to undergo counseling if necessary.

However, Webb said because Enriquez' admitted crime is only a Class C felony, he will not have to register as a sex offender and can have the attempted sex abuse charge dismissed if he successfully completes his sentencing diversion program. A felony conviction would have resulted in Enriquez' expulsion from the United States when he attempted to renew his Alien Resident Card, according to Webb.

However, she said the lesser harassment charge will be permanently listed on his criminal record.

Webb said the case stemmed from an incident two years ago when the victim, then 11, was staying overnight at the grandfather's house on Tucker Road. Almost two years later the girl confided in a family friend -- who in turn told her mother -- that while she and her younger sister were sleeping, Enriquez had climbed into bed with her and began touching her genitalia while she was laying on her stomach. The girl said she attempted several times to move his hand away and tried to wake up her sibling in hopes of stopping the contact.

Finally, the girl said she got up and went into the living room where her uncle was sitting -- but she didn't tell anyone of her grandfather's actions because she was afraid and confused.

According to the victim's statements, Enriquez apologized the next day for his behavior and, from that time on, she refused to spend the night at his house unless there would be other relatives present.

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