FARGO — A West Fargo man will serve 20 years in prison for sexually abusing a child who became pregnant because of the rape.
Cass County Judge John Irby sentenced Osmar Dionel Vazquez, 43, Friday, Oct. 25, to 30 years in prison on a Class AA felony of gross sexual imposition, a charge that carries a punishment of life without parole. Ten years of that sentence was suspended, and he has 445 days of credit for time served.
Cass County prosecutor Tracy Hines asked that Vazquez serve 30 years in prison before reading a victim impact statement for the girl, who was present in the courtroom. The victim said she was sexually abused by Vazquez repeatedly since 2009 and only told her mother about the incidents when they were at the hospital in August 2018, according to impact statements from the girl and her mother.
That’s when they found out the girl was pregnant with Vazquez’s child and was in labor.
“No child should have to experience sexual abuse and labor a child because of that abuse,” the mother said as she called Vazquez “truly evil and a pedophile”.
The girl said in her statement she has suffered mentally, has been forced to mature faster than normal children and has problems trusting people, even her own family because of Vazquez’s actions. She and her mother said they wanted Vazquez to be sentenced to life so they wouldn’t have to worry about him hurting them or sexually abusing another child.
The Forum typically does not identify victims of sexual abuse.
Vazquez told police he doesn’t remember raping the child. He admitted to the incident that led to the pregnancy but denies any other sexual abuse, his defense attorney Kenneth Combs said.
The man whom the victim and mother described is different from the man Combs has gotten to known, he said, acknowledging their description of him is “painted by pain". Combs described Vazquez as a hard-working man who had a problem with alcohol, sometimes to the point of blacking out.
Combs argued for 8 years in prison, saying there were inconsistencies in the victim's and mother's statements and that Vazquez cooperated with police.
The crime was a calculated rape of a young girl, Hines said.
“This isn’t a drunken mistake,” she said, adding nothing will erase the girl’s memories of the sexual abuse.
Vazquez said he was sorry for what he did and feels bad for the damage he caused. He said he wished he could go back and change what he did.
“I can’t do nothing about it, but you are the judge, and you can judge me,” he told Irby.
Irby called the case tragic and a “forever event” that will impact the child for life.
The girl said Vazquez being in prison is not going to magically solve the impacts he has had on her life, but she wanted him to see justice. The mother said she hopes her daughter won’t let the sexual abuse define her and that the girl can smile again someday.
“She is the strongest human being in the world,” the mother said.
Vazquez is not a U.S. citizen and could face deportation because of the crime, attorneys said.
Combs also asked the court that Vazquez be allowed to write a letter to the victim while in prison expressing his sorrow in the case sometime in the future. Irby said he thought that was inappropriate, but he would leave that up to the state's attorney's office to decide.