One defendant sentenced, one fails to appear in child sex cases |

One defendant sentenced, one fails to appear in child sex cases

A man who was accused of arranging to meet young girls for sex, and who took a plea agreement for 120 days in jail, failed to appear for his sentencing last week.

Damian Richard Sandez, 60, was arrested in May outside a movie theater in downtown Grass Valley, in a sting orchestrated by a Nevada County Sheriff’s detective from the Major Crimes Unit.

The girl, a high school freshman, reportedly told a school resource officer about an “inappropriate message” on Facebook from the father of a prior classmate; he allegedly also had attempted to contact her via Facebook a year earlier, when she was 13.

Detectives messaged Sandez, posing as the girl, and he reportedly relayed his intent to take pornographic photos and engage in sexual activity with her. Detectives then set up a sting operation. Sandez arrived at the pre-arranged time to meet the girl and was arrested without incident. Another alleged victims subsequently was identified.

Sandez took a West plea, meaning he did not admit to committing the offenses. He pleaded no contest to one count of meeting a child for lewd purposes and one count of child molestation. He must stay away from both victims and must register as a sex offender. He also must have no contact with minors without another adult present, other than his biological children, and his search and seizure terms include any electronic devices.

Sandez failed to show up for sentencing on Sept. 9, and a no-bail warrant was issued.

Palacios sentenced to three years

An El Dorado Hills man who was arrested after having sexual relations with a 15-year-old runaway was sentenced Monday to three years in prison. He also must register as a sex offender.

A California Highway Patrol officer pulled over a truck on Highway 49 in May 2015, with Juan Carlos Palacios, 44 at the time, driving.

Both Palacios and the girl were questioned after the officer reportedly saw evidence of sexual activity and a mattress in the back of the truck, which was covered with a camper shell.

Palacios subsequently pleaded no contest to two counts of contacting a minor for sexual purposes, one count of meeting a minor for lewd purposes, two counts of committing a lewd act with a child, and one count of possessing child pornography.

To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email or call 530-477-4229.

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