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Michael C. Downs

Michael C. Downs

A Valencia man pleaded no contest to 15 counts Thursday related to a string of sexual assaults in the Santa Clarita Valley.

“(Michael Downs) received 15 years and 4 months in state prison,” said a San Fernando Superior Court official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to media. “The maximum time he was facing was 267 years to life in prison.”

The official said Downs was required to serve 85 percent of that time due to California sentencing laws.

“He had credit for a total of 451 days, 392 actual days and 59 good-time/work-time days,” the official said. “He’s going to have to do about13 years before he’s elieigble for parole.”

Downs, of Valencia, who was 19 when he was arrested, faced 34 sex-related charges involving 15 victims, one as young as 12 years of age. Thirty-three of the charges were felonies and one was a misdemeanor.

Those charges included unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor, sexual penetration with a foreign object, oral copulation with a person under 16, sexual battery and sending harmful matter.

The sexual assaults occurred over a 19-month period between May 2010 until Downs was taken into custody in December 2011, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department officials.

Judge Hayden Zacky presided over the case.

Downs was prosecuted by Julie Kramer, deputy district attorney for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. Ralph Jacobson was the public defender in the case.

 

L.A. County District Attorney statement:

A 20-year-old Newhall man who trolled for teen girls on Internet social media sites and hung out with younger boys so he could meet younger girls was sentenced to 15 years and four months in state prison today after pleading no contest to molesting 15 girls in 2010 and 2011, the District Attorney’s Office announced

Deputy District Attorney Julie Kramer said Michael Downs was sentenced by San Fernando Superior Court Judge Hayden Zacky. Downs pleaded to 14 felony counts and one misdemeanor charge involving the victims, between the ages of 16 and 12 when the crimes occurred. She said the felony charges included eight counts of lewd conduct with a child, five counts of unlawful sex with a minor and one count of sexual penetration by a foreign object of a minor. The misdemeanor count was sexual battery.

Downs was charged in December 2011 and has been in custody since then in connection with the case. As part of his sentence, he must register for life as a sex offender. A restitution hearing will be scheduled by Judge Zacky on Feb. 27.

Authorities said Downs was between the ages of 18 and 19 when the crimes occurred. They said he lied about his age, pretending to be 15 or 16. He would meet the victims through social media, at malls and house parties. He also befriended younger teen boys to meet girls in their age group.

The case was investigated by the Sheriff’s Special Victims Bureau.

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