Juan Jose Del Cid, a Guatemalan man who lives in Holland, was found guilty by a jury of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with multiple variables, and a second criminal sexual conduct charge for a sexual violation by an individual 17 or older against a victim less than 13 years old.
The two first-degree criminal sexual conduct charges, which included rape, meant Del Cid faced a minimum sentence of 25 years in prison.
According to police reports obtained by The Sentinel, the victim of the assaults was the daughter of Del Cid’s girlfriend. The victim was 12 and 13 when the assaults took place, Judge Karen Miedema said at Del Cid’s Monday, Jan. 22, sentencing.
The victim reported the assaults to a bus driver on June 8, 2016, and Del Cid was arrested eight days later.
On the first count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct by an individual 17 or older against a victim less than 13, Del Cid was sentenced to 300 months (25 years) to 900 months (75 years) in state prison. On the second count, which included multiple variables, he was sentenced to 135 months (11 years and three months) to 75 years. These sentences will be served at the same time.
Del Cid was given credit for 585 days already served at the Ottawa County Jail. He must also register on the Michigan Sex Offender Registry and will be subject to lifetime electronic monitoring.
Upon being sentenced by Miedema, Del Cid immediately filed paperwork to appeal both his jury conviction and the sentencing. The case will be reviewed by an appeals court for further action.
At sentencing, the victim said she no longer lives with her mother and siblings.
“I question everyone — I have fear,” she said. “I didn’t have anyone I thought I could tell. I couldn’t tell my mom, knowing that he was her boyfriend. He was cheating with me with my mom.”
The victim’s mother, who has been in a relationship with Del Cid for a decade and has three children with him, said she does not believe Del Cid assaulted her daughter.
“She made the allegations and Juan was devastated,” the victim’s mother said. “It’s not that I don’t believe her, (but) Juan wasn’t the perpetrator. She’s covering for somebody else. Juan has never been disrespectful or inappropriate.”
Del Cid, who may be facing deportation, is said to have “had full sexual intercourse” with the victim, according to Holland police.
While awaiting his appeal, Del Cid will be transported to a Michigan Department of Corrections prison. Upon being processed by the prison and his fingerprints are collected, Immigration and Customs Enforcement may be notified he is in custody as he is not a legal U.S. citizen. Del Cid has been deported back to Guatemala once before.
“Del Cid has an immigration hold, and he would be released to I.C.E., so he would be deported,” said his attorney, Nohemi Jimenez. “Immigration might pick him up before or wait the 25 years, we don’t know.”
Before signing his appeal rights document, Del Cid said through a court translator that he is keeping his faith throughout the court process.
“I want to thank God in every moment,” he said. “I am always going to thank Him. I also want to tell my girl that she will always be my daughter and I will always pray for her.”
Unless an appeals court overturns the Ottawa County Circuit Court jury’s decision, Del Cid is still guilty of two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct.
“This court is aware of the details of these two convictions,” Miedema said. “The victim told details of her life and the specifics of (the assault). The jury believed the victim. She explained the hurt she experienced and how she continues to experience pain and difficulties in her life. This victim showed great maturity and insight. She also expressed concern for her three young stepbrothers. In her young age, she showed compassion for others.”
The victim’s sister and three stepbrothers continue to live with their mother, while the victim currently lives at a residential treatment facility for children and adolescents.
If Del Cid serves the minimum of 25 years in prison, he will be 63 when he is released. If made to serve all 75 years, Del Cid would be 113 upon release from prison.