Life sentence imposed for enticing a minor to engage in sexual activity upheld as reasonable
Romeo Sanchez was charged in a seven-count indictment involving sex crimes against minors. Specifically, his charges included two counts of enticing a minor to engage in sexual activity; two counts of enticing a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct in order to produce child pornography; two counts of possessing child pornography and one count of having committed a felony offense involving a minor while already a registered sex offender. He was convicted after a jury trial and sentenced to life imprisonment, plus a consecutive ten-year mandatory minimum sentence for committing the crime while he was a registered sex offender.
His appeal focused on the denial of his motion to suppress evidence obtained from his two cell phones. An investigation determined that a fourteen-year-old was having a sexual relationship with Sanchez, 29, and she was using her phone for sexually explicit communications with Sanchez. Detectives from the Cape Coral Police Department went to Sanchez’s house with a warrant to seize his phone. Sanchez came out to speak with the Detectives and while speaking with the agents about the warrant for his phone, his parents came home. One of the detectives proposed that his parents get the phone because they knew where the phone was located. That detective said the mother agreed to get the phone and with that he accompanied the mother inside the house to get the phone. He left after retrieving the phone and a search of the phone revealed incriminating evidence.
A few months after the seizure of phone one, Sanchez was arrested at his place of work. In the process he tried to conceal another phone, which detectives seized. That phone showed that Sanchez was having sexually explicit communications with another fourteen-year-old girl, who investigators learned he was involved in illegal activity.