Gustavo David Fuentes – Giggling-Grooming-Cowardly Child Predator

Gustavo David Fuentes, 26, told his 14-year-old victim that she was “hot.”

He videotaped himself having sex with her, telling her the two would watch the video on their wedding day. And he asked her what it was like to have sex with a “rock star,” referring to himself.

A Multnomah County Circuit judge Friday sentenced Fuentes — who now is a convicted sex offender — to 16 2/3 years in prison. A jury in April convicted the Southeast Portland husband and father of 29 counts of producing child pornography, possessing child pornography, sexual abuse and statutory rape in 2007 and 2008.

Fuentes’ case is rare because it offers a glimpse into the psychology of sexual predators, and the tactics they use to groom their young victims, said deputy district attorney John Casalino.

Fuentes, who insisted on his innocence, brought the case to trial. During the trial, 12 jurors watched video he’d recorded of his crimes. In it, they heard his flirtations, his giggles, the things he said to gain the trust of his victim.

Experts say child predators often try to make their victims feel special, lather on attention and tell them how much they care for them

Jurors also viewed photographs Fuentes taken, some clothed and some not.

“Generally, (defendants) don’t subject everyone to that in the courtroom,” Casalino said.

Fuentes’ wife found the photographs on Fuentes’ computer and the video on a camcorder in the closet. She told relatives, who called police. Fuentes is related to the victim.

Fuentes’ case also is unusual because most defendants don’t go to trial with such powerful evidence against them.

During Fuentes’ sentencing hearing Friday, his defense attorney told the judge that Fuentes weighed only 120 pounds, and was terrified of going to prison.

“His thinking process was very paralyzed,” said attorney Scott Raivio.

Raivio also said Fuentes, who has an immigration hold placed on him, will likely be deported at the end of his prison sentence.

Judge John Wittmayer said Fuentes had the right to go to trial, and he wouldn’t hold that against him.

Fuentes apologized for his crimes, and said he’s asked God to forgive him.

In asking for leniency, Fuentes’ sister said he was a good person and that she’d trust him alone with her two daughters.

The prosecutor asked the judge to give Fuentes nearly 22 years in prison. His defense attorney asked for less than 6 years, the minimum Oregon law allows. The judge had the ability to sentence Fuentes to more than 100 years.

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