SEX OFFENDER GETS 16 YEARS
LAS VEGAS -- After more than eight years of delays, a sex offender who worked as a nurse is going to prison for sexually assaulting a 10-year-old patient.
The nursing board gave Paul Santiago a license knowing he was a convicted sex offender.
His victim, a 10-year-old child in foster care, became an adult before seeing justice.
The prosecutor negotiated a plea deal for probation after charging him for the sexual assault of two additional victims.
On Wednesday, Judge Kathleen Delaney sentenced Santiago to the maximum penalty, a minimum of 16 years in prison.
He pleaded guilty in February to two counts of attempted sexual assault.
According to police, Santiago forced the 10-year-old girl in his care at Montevista Hospital to perform oral sex on him.
Santiago declined to say anything before the judge imposed his sentence.
The judge, however, read from a letter sent by the victim.
"Please excuse my absence as I never want to see this sick individual again," the judge read to the court. "He belongs behind bars where he can't hurt anyone."
The letter also noted that the victim thought it was entirely unfair that he could ruin her life and go on living his life as if nothing had happened if he were to be given probation.
Santiago's attorney asked to withdraw his client's guilty plea because the judge did not follow the negotiated deal for probation.
A civil case against Montevista Hospital related to the incident recently settled.
Santiago has yet another criminal and another civil case pending against him. Earlier this year, he was charged with sexually assaulting two women at a local medical clinic.
KLAS TV, Channel 8 News