A Los Gatos young man awaits sentencing after pleading no contest to 13 counts of sexual assault against minors which prosecutors allege took place in June and August of 2012.
According to Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Christopher Walsh, David Raymond Bates, 20, was charged in July with the various crimes which range from oral copulation with a minor under the age of 16, to unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor more than three years younger than the defendant to annoying or molesting a child under the age of 14.
Walsh said Bates had graduated from Los Gatos High School and it's alleged he had sexual intercourse with minors who are also students there. During the time the alleged crimes were committed, Bates was 19 years of age, he added.
Most of the incidents came to the surface in the summer of last year, he added. "He basically was preying on these freshmen, younger girls," Walsh said.
The different charges faced by Bates are all crimes the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office felt it could prove, Walsh added.
The most serious crimes are counts four, five and six where Bates is actually accused of lewd and lascivious acts against a 13-year-old girl. The offenses are considered three-strikes against the defendant. "He had sexual intercourse with the victim," he said.
The rest of the counts pertain to three other victims, for a total of four total victims reflected in the criminal complaint against Bates, he said. Two of the three other girls were 14 at the time of the incidents and one was 15 years old.
A parent at the high school discovered the crimes after seeing communication between the girls and the defendant on Facebook, Walsh explained.
Subsequently, Los Gatos/Monte Sereno police began investigating the case with juvenile detective Jamie Field leading the probe into Bates' crimes.
The charges were filed in September of 2012 and the case was set to go to trial, which was avoided when Bates pleaded no contest Sept. 9 to all the charges, Walsh said.
Prosecutors have asked Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Philip H. Pennypacker for a six-year prison term for Bates and they were negotiating a guilty plea that would guarantee jail time.
However, Judge Pennypacker indicated probation was the preferred punishment. Prosecutors then rejected the deal and Bates pleaded no contest, which Walsh said is the same as a guilty plea.
A hearing is set for 9 a.m. today, Tuesday, Oct. 1 where Judge Pennypacker will receive the case's probation report and then a formal sentencing date will be set.
"We feel he should go to prison because of the amount of victims involved," Walsh said. "We don't feel it's appropriate for him to receive probation ... the bigger issue is he deserves to go to prison for some amount of time."
Bates is represented by Santa Clara County Deputy Public Defender Ross McMahon, who didn't immediately return calls seeking comment.
Bates remains in custody at the Santa Clara County Jail on the charges.
One of the victim's parents, who is not being named to protect the identity of the girl since she's a minor, said Bates "is a serial rapist and has ruined my daughter's
childhood. My daughter was a child just out of middle school, she was an A/B student focused on cheer and not sexually active at the time."
The parent continued: "I
have lost my daughter. She was being bullied in the school by other
students after the assault, lost her self esteem, quit cheer, turned to
drugs and alcohol and I have had to check her into an intense
residential therapy program."
The three strikes against Bates pertain to the parent's child as charges are considered statutory rape.
"She will never have a normal high school
experience and we are struggling to get her back to a mentally and
emotionally healthy state. We are fortunate she is still alive," the parent said. "Child molestation and sexual assault must be taken
seriously. Without proper consequences more children will end up like my daughter and their families will suffer as we are."
The parent contacted Los Gatos Patch fearful that Bates will receive probation and asking for stricter punishment.
"This guy must not be let out to ruin another life ... There is another judge currently in Billings, Montana who is being
investigated and potentially being asked to step down due to the lax
sentencing he issued in a similar case," the parent said.