Jose Antonio Sanchez, 59, faces a maximum prison term of up to 22 1/2 years when Muskegon County 14th Circuit Judge William C. Marietti sentences him July 12. The minimum term will be up to the judge, guided by state sentencing guidelines.
Ordinarily, sodomy carries a maximum sentence of 15 years, but Sanchez’s record as a second-time habitual offender could add 50 percent to that. Sanchez was convicted in 1998 of second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a child.
Sanchez entered the plea, which judges treat the same as a guilty plea, on Friday. In exchange for his acceptance of responsibility, the Muskegon County Prosecutor’s Office agreed to drop an additional charge of being a sexually delinquent person, which could have resulted in a prison term of “between one day and life.”
The plea agreement headed off a bench trial for Sanchez.
The 60-pound bitch, described in law enforcement reports last year as a pit bull, actually appeared to be a boxer mix, according to testimony last week by a Fruitport veterinarian who examined the 2 1/2-year-old dog.
Muskegon law enforcement said Sanchez during a meeting with his parole officer admitted the sexual assault, which he said happened at his home in the 200 block of East Grand Avenue. The incident was then reported to authorities. He was arrested last August and has been lodged in the Muskegon County Jail since, unable to post a $50,000 cash or surety bond.
On Aug. 2, the dog was examined by veterinarian Karl Klomp, who concluded it had been raped based on swelling and what he believed to be internal scarring in the vaginal area. Klomp also found the dog’s general condition to be poor, with the animal suffering from skin disease and fleas.