For Immediate Release
Contact: Michelle Bays
775.321.4307 (o); 775.771.6049 (c)
October 6, 2016
Washoe County District Attorney Chris Hicks has announced that a Sparks man was sentenced Tuesday in District Court to life in prison for charges of sexually abusing a child over the span of 15 years. This sentence ensures that the defendant will serve a minimum of 20 years in prison before being eligible for parole.
Jose Concepcion Moreno-Padilla, 51, from Sparks was sentenced on one count of Sexual Assault and one count of Lewdness with a Child Under the Age of 14. The defendant had previously pled guilty in July of this year.
The case against Moreno-Padilla began on May 12, 2016 when the Sparks Police Department (SPD) responded to a call of a missing 18 year old female who had not returned home from school. After locating the girl, SPD officers questioned her about not returning home and learned she was a victim of sexual abuse. SPD Detectives began an investigation and learned that the victim had been sexually abused since she was approximately 5 years old at the hands of a male relative identified as Moreno-Padilla. When interviewed, Moreno-Padilla admitted to sexual abuse of the victim. Based on the investigation and the defendants incriminating statements, Moreno-Padilla was arrested and this office subsequently filed formal criminal charges against him.
At sentencing, Prosecutor Nicole Hicks commended the bravery exhibited by the victim the day she reported the years of abuse and argued that Moreno-Padilla committed the ultimate betrayal to the victim causing harm, pain and suffering in a situation where he was supposed to protect. In a letter to the Judge, the victim said the abuse dramatically affected her physically, mentally and emotionally changing the way she felt about herself, causing her to disown her body and the person she had become.
A multi-disciplinary team coordinated through the Washoe County Child Advocacy Center (CAC) investigated the case against Moreno-Padilla. The team included authorities from the Sparks Police Department Detectives Division, the Washoe County Child Abuse Response and Evaluation (CARES) team, Washoe County Social Services, and the Washoe County District Attorney’s Office. The CAC opened June 13, 2014 with a continued mission to safeguard the health and safety of children in our community who are victims of abuse through a neutral, child-centered environment. The CAC’s goal is to minimize trauma and provide advocacy for children and non-offending caregivers in support of effective investigations and prosecution. To date, over 800 forensic interviews of children, thousands of medical evaluations, and over 300 therapy appointments with children who are affected by child abuse have been conducted at the CAC. Since its opening, 35 life sentences have been imposed on sexual and physical abusers of children.