Families of two sex assault victims say they are upset with the court over its decision to give the offender a lesser sentence than originally proposed, which they claim prosecutors did not consult with them.
A woman who does not want to be identified said her daughter was sexually abused by a man known to the family, Oscar Roberto Zaldivar, from 2011 to 2018. Fairfax County Police arrested him in 2019.
“I am hurt,” she said. “Pained, and without receiving the justice that the case deserves.”
According to court documents, a grand jury indicted Zaldivar and he was charged with aggravated sexual battery and sodomy of a child under the age of 13 years old. The victim was 5 years old at the time of the assault.
A grand jury also indicted Zaldivar in another case for allegedly sexually abusing another young girl.
In 2019, the victim’s mother said prosecutors told her Zaldivar would be sentenced to life in prison. That same year, he allegedly confessed and the prosecutors offered him a plea deal of 30 years, but the deal is now 17 years and 2 months.
Paul Mikelson is a lawyer representing the victim and her family who said the plea deal is unfair.
“The crimes that were committed over many years, over five years, against this little girl were mandatory life crimes,” he said.
Mikelson filed an objection on behalf of the families of both victims.
“The judge has not made any particular ruling on my objection,” he said.
Fairfax County prosecuters released a statement calling the alleged crimes “horrific and a priority for our office.”
“That is why we crafted a plea agreement that enables us to argue for a sentence at the high end of the sentencing guidelines – which means this sentence would be longer than 75% of sentences for these offenses across Virginia,” the statement reads.
The prosecutors also said they valued and respected the family’s perspective and that they were in touch with them throughout plea negotiations.
Zaldivar is scheduled to be sentenced this Friday.
“It will never seem fair to me that a person who abuses a minor is going to spend 15 to 20 years in prison,” the survivor’s mother said.