For Immediate Release
Contact: Michelle Bays
775.321.4307 (o); 775.771.6049 (c)
December 16, 2016
Washoe County District Attorney Chris Hicks announces that a local jury has found a Reno man guilty of numerous counts of Lewdness with a Minor and Sexual Assault of a Child in one of the largest child sexual abuse trials ever tried in Washoe County. The evidence presented during the trial that started on December 5, 2016 showed sexual abuse by the defendant against 4 victims over a 25 year span.
Valentin Anthony Corrales, was found guilty of 39 counts involving Lewdness with a Minor Under the Age of 14, Sexual Assault of a Child, and Sexual Assault. The jury deliberated for approximately 5 hours after 9 days of trial before returning with its verdict Thursday night. Corrales faces life in prison on all 39 charges.
In commenting on the verdict, District Attorney Chris Hicks praised the jury stating, “this swift and definitive conclusion validated the victims’ courage to come forward and disclose the atrocities that had been imposed upon them by this horrendous defendant. Their verdict not only serves to lock-up a true child predator for the rest of his life but also helps these victims move onto positive chapters of their lives.”
In late February of 2015, a 19 year old victim reported to police that she had been a victim of sexual abuse by Corrales for the last 13 years. An investigation followed revealing additional victims whose years of abuse went back to 1994. All victims reported the sexual abuse started when they were approximately 6-7 years of age and included various forms of assault in multiple locations on a frequent, if not daily, basis.
The investigations further revealed that Corrales had been convicted of two counts of Lewdness with a Minor Under the age of 14 in 1990 involving two minor victims. He was sentenced to three years in prison. In that case, he abused two young daughters of a single mother.
Within 6 months of his release from prison in 1992, he managed to place himself in a relationship with another single mother, who also had 2 young daughters. They were ultimately married and had several children. It was this relationship that spawned the instant charges involving multiple victims over many years. Throughout those years, Corrales employed threats, fear, and bribery to maintain their submission and silence.
During trial, Deputy District Attorneys Nicole Hicks and Peg Samples introduced compelling testimony from the victims and witnesses, evidence of the locations where the assaults occurred, provocative photographs the defendant had taken of some of the victims, and DNA evidence connecting him and a victim to objects used during the assaults. They also introduced testimony from his previous victims, who are now adults, which illustrated his continued motivations to sexually abuse children. During closing arguments, DDA Nicole Hicks argued that Corrales’ motivation in life was to create “unrestricted, unfettered and unlimited access to child victims.”
A multi-disciplinary team coordinated through the Washoe County Child Advocacy Center (CAC) investigated the case against Corrales. The team included authorities from the Reno 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 900 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, over 75 life sentences have been imposed on sexual and physical abusers of children.
Sentencing is set for March 8, 2017. Due to Corrales’ previous Lewdness with a Child Under the Age of 14 convictions he faces life in prison on all 39 counts without the possibility of parole.