Armona man strikes plea deal for sex assault, forcing teen meth use


Michael Rodriguez stared blankly as a judge sentenced him to 18 years and 8 months in prison for forcing four teenage girls to ingest methamphetamine and sexually assaulting one of them. The punishment was part of a plea deal Rodriguez struck with prosecutors who originally wanted a life sentence.

Hon. Thomas Desantos, Kings County Judge said, "During this time he threatened them with a pair of scissors he committed a lewd and lascivious act with one and kept them confined."

Back in April the 33-year-old was taking care of his daughter and several of her friends at his Armona home. Prosecutors say the sleepover turned into a night of terror for four teenage girls. Before the judge issued his sentence, Rodriguez's attorney asked for a lighter sentence since he was on meth at the time of the crimes.

Brian Gupton, Defense Attorney said, "This is a case of a drug-induced behavior or at least drug psychosis."

Six family members and friends of Michael Rodriguez showed up to court to support him. They were hoping the judge would be lenient on him.

Many of Rodriguez's family members sent letters to the judge, asking him not to be sent to prison. His attorney says Rodriguez is a good family man who becomes another person when he's under the influence.

Gupton said, "He'd been a good man and good father and responsible individual and clearly well-loved and well respected by family and friends."

The judge, however, said even taking into consideration the letters, the crimes Rodriguez committed deserved a serious sentence.

Hon. Thomas Desantos said, "Instead of being the responsible parent that a lot of the letters make him out to be, he himself ingested methamphetamine and forced the girls to ingest methamphetamine themselves."

Once he's released from prison Michael Rodriguez will have to register as sex and narcotics offenders.

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