Man pleads guilty for role in child abuse case

Joseph Ricky Leon Guerrero, 37, pleaded guilty Thursday in Superior Court to three counts of aggravated assault as third-degree felonies for his role in a child abuse case against three children that occurred in late December.

Guerrero was arrested Dec. 29 along with Thelma Rose Duenas Quinata and has been held at the Department of Corrections Adult Correctional Facility in Mangilao since his incarceration.

Each count to which he pleaded guilty carried a maximum sentence of three years in prison and a $5,000 fine, but the additional years were suspended, and under terms of his plea agreement, Leon Guerrero will serve approximately two more weeks before his release.

Upon that release, Leon Guerrero also will be on parole for three years.

According to Guam Daily Post files, Leon Guerrero was initially accused of aggravated assault and terrorizing, involving a vulnerable victim as a special allegation, because an unnamed witness noticed scabs on one of the three children’s backs when he visited.

When police interviewed the children separately, one boy said Leon Guerrero had hit him with a broomstick with the other two confirming they had received similar abuse from Leon Guerrero. 

The children also said they were struck with various items including a chair, an unopened soda can, a water pipe, a glass plate, a belt and fists.

Each also said that if they went to sleep early they would be forced to stand around a bucket and stare at a fire that Leon Guerrero had made inside the residence. If they blinked while watching the fire, Leon Guerrero would make them inhale smoke while pushing their faces closer to the flames.

In a magistrate’s complaint from the initial charges, Leon Guerrero admitted he would force the children to stare into a fire two or three times a week to teach them not to go to sleep early. Additionally, he admitted to striking two of the children with a broomstick, but said he was actually trying to hit a nearby object in order to scare each child, but missed.

Source: The Guam Daily Post :

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