Entertainer Pleads Not Guilty to Sex Crime Charges in California

A Hawaii-based entertainer, who was arrested last month for sex crimes in California, has pleaded not guilty to charges of sexual abuse of minors. Sixty-six-year-old Cecilio Rodriguez has been charged with abuse of children under 14. The suspected abuse occurred in the 1990s.

Rodriguez is a renowned entertainer in Hawaii, and is part of the musical duo, Cecilio and Kapono. He was arrested in September after one of the victims admitted the abuse to her father, who then contacted the police. The women were apparently family friends of the entertainer. If convicted, Rodriguez could face a maximum sentence of ten years in prison.

Sex crimes are some of the most serious offenses, and persons who are convicted of these offenses can be sentenced to imprisonment, and required to register in a sex offender registry. Registration can severely limit a person’s options for living and working. For instance, a person who has been convicted of a sex offense cannot live close to a school, park or any other place where children gather, once he is released or paroled. Since the definition of “where children can gather” can include a vast number of locations, this severely limits the accommodation options open to those convicted of sex offenses.

No one denies that it’s important to keep children safe from sexual predators. However, such protection should not come at the cost of incarcerating innocent people. Unfortunately, in sex crime cases, Los Angeles sex crimes defense attorneys often find that persons are presumed to be guilty until proven innocent – a gross violation of their rights.

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