A former Fort Benning soldier initially charged with child molestation pleaded guilty Wednesday to the lesser charges of sexual battery.
Victor Hugo Becerril-Salgado, 29, admitted to three counts of sexual battery, which are misdemeanors, and was sentenced to three years’ probation by Muscogee County Superior Court Chief Judge John Allen. The judge gave Becerril-Salgado first-offender status, meaning that if he completes his probation with no criminal violations, he won’t have a record.
Someone convicted of child molestation faces five to 20 years in prison.
“It was an appropriate way to close it out,” said defense attorney Richard Hagler, who represents Becerril-Salgado. “He was satisfied with the disposition.”
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Assistant District Attorney Brad Bickerstaff told Allen that Becerril-Salgado and his girlfriend had an 11-year-old girl staying with them at the time of the sexual battery. Becerril-Salgado and his girlfriend went drinking on New Year’s Eve 2008 and got into a fight. Becerril-Salgado then went to his Ginny Drive home.
“The victim made the report about two months later — that the defendant had climbed into bed with her, that he was drunk, that he kissed on her neck, that he put his hands on her,” Bickerstaff said.
The girl went to another room to sleep and left the next day. By the time she told a family member, Becerril-Salgado had been reassigned to Fort Riley in Kansas, the prosecutor said.
Becerril-Salgado was not allowed to re-enlist because of the charges, and that he received an honorable discharge, Hagler said.
Becerril-Salgado must register as a sex offender for the duration of his probation, though he will have no requirement to once his probation has ended.