A convicted child molester is getting his sentence reduced after filing a claim that he was not adequately represented by his defense attorney. Nevada County District Attorney Cliff Newell says the appeal was filed by Luis Ponce who was tried and convicted in 2007 on 16 counts of aggravated sexual acts with young children ages 1 to 3 and for videotaping the incidents.
Ponce claims he was inadequately represented by his attorney David Billingsly who allegedly recommended that he reject a plea offer that would have resulted in half the prison time of his conviction.
Newell says Judge Anderson based his decision to rule in Ponce’s favor on a ruling that came out a couple of years ago which says that if your counsel is ineffective in presenting to you the District Attorney’s offer, and you get convicted at trial, that a defendant can go back and ask for the original offer that the District Attorney proffered earlier on in the case.
Newell says David Billingsley who was trial counsel for Ponce had many years experience and handled very serious cases in his career and was known to be an effective counsel.
Newell says he disagrees with the ruling and believes the original sentence was appropriate given the facts presented.
Ponce is scheduled to be re-sentenced April 6th to 30 years to life. Ponce will be 80 by the time he is eligible for parole under the new sentence..