V.I. Superior Court Judge Denise Francois on Tuesday sentenced Irvin Ocasio Flores to 10 years in prison, with credit for 387 days already served, for his conviction on charges of sexually assaulting a woman.On June 16, a jury had convicted Ocasio Flores of first-degree rape and first-degree unlawful sexual contact. According to a news release from the Department of Justice, Ocasio Flores raped a woman while she slept. Prosecutors had recommended he serve 30 years behind bars for the first-degree rape conviction and 15 years for the first-degree unlawful sexual contact conviction.
During Tuesday’s sentencing, a statement from the victim was read into the record by Elma Brathwaite, victim advocate at the Department of Justice.
“I am fighting for my life because of what Irvin Ocasio Flores did to me,” the statement read. “I cry every day because he destroyed my life, he destroyed my family … Because of the rape, I have lost a lot … Irvin Ocasio Flores is a danger to others because I believe he is sick enough to do this again to someone else. I ask you to keep him in jail until it is time for him to go to the cemetery.”
Francois sentenced Ocasio Flores to ten years each on the first-degree rape and first-degree unlawful sexual contact convictions, adding that the imposition or execution of the sentence for the first-degree unlawful sexual contact is stayed because the charge arose from the same conduct and it is therefore merged with the first-degree rape conviction.
Ocasio Flores was ordered to pay $75 in court costs and, before his release from prison, he is required to register under the Sexual Offender Act with DOJ.
During the course of the four-day trial, jurors heard the testimonies of seven prosecution witnesses, including the victim, who was overcome with emotion as she recounted the events of the March 7, 2013, crime.
Ocasio Flores also took the witness stand, denied any wrongdoing and told the jury that the sexual encounter was consensual.
After almost three hours of deliberations, jurors returned a unanimous verdict and found Ocasio Flores guilty of both counts he faced – first-degree rape and first-degree unlawful sexual contact.
Assistant Attorney General John Tolud argued the case for the prosecution.
In a brief statement after the sentencing, Attorney General Claude Earl Walker said the case represented the department’s emphasis on sex crimes.
“As the Department of Justice continues its aggressive stance of trying and winning these sexual assault cases, we will help to deter the type of despicable conduct for which the defendant has been convicted,” Walker said.