A Maxwell man was sentenced to two years in state prison last week on one count of performing a lewd act with a child.
Antonio Corona Negrete, 25, pleaded guilty to the charge in Colusa County Superior Court on Sept. 5, in a plea agreement reached with the Colusa County District Attorney’s Office, officials said.
Negrete was arrested on Dec. 17, 2017 following an investigation into allegations of inappropriate behavior with a minor. Colusa-based attorney John K. Hinely defended Negrete, who initially pleaded not guilty to the charges.
In exchange for the plea and a mid-level sentence, the District Attorney dropped a charge of annoying or molesting a child under the age of 18.
Negrete remained in the custody of the Colusa County Jail following his arrest, and will be given credit for the nine months he has already served, Deputy District Attorney Brendan Farrell said.
Negrete will be required to register as a sex offender, but it is unknown if he will have to remain registered for life.
Commencing July 1, 2021, most sex offenders will be allowed to petition the state to be removed from public and police registries 10 to 20 years after they are released from prison, as long as they have not committed another serious crime or violent sexual offense.
Gov. Jerry Brown signed the bill, which distinguishes the amount of time a sex offender must register by the severity of the crime, on Oct. 6, 2017.
The change in the law will allow most people convicted of crimes like indecent exposure, child pornography, and misdemeanor sexual battery, which make up the largest number of sex offenses, to be removed after 10 years, the bill states.
The next tier would include mostly those convicted of sex crimes against minors under 14, with the law allowing them to petition the state to be removed from the registry after 20 years.
Under the new legislation, only those convicted of sex crimes against children 10 and under, rape, sex trafficking of minors, or repeat offenders would have to register for life.
Legislators argued that California’s sex offender registry, which contains the information of more than 100,000 sex offenders no longer incarcerated, needed to be refined so that law enforcement does not spend massive resources monitoring registrants who may be less likely to reoffend or have not reoffended in decades.
There are currently 31 sex offenders registered in Colusa County.