May 17, 2008

Justin Sullivan sentenced to 45 months, given probation

By RICHARD PRIOR, The St. Augustine Record

Saturday, May 17, 2008

A St. Johns County man, whose confession to sexual battery was thrown out in 2006, pleaded to a lesser charge on Friday and was sentenced to 45 months in prison.

St. Johns Circuit Judge Wendy W. Berger also sentenced Justin Wade Sullivan, 20, to 10 years of sex-offender probation for lewd and lascivious battery on his victim, who was under 12 years old.

The judge warned him not to violate his probation. If he does, she said, he could face additional prison time.

Sullivan could have gotten 15 years in prison for the second-degree felony.

He was facing life without parole for the original charge of capital sexual battery on a person under 12.

May 5, 2008

Prosecutor: Videos Provide Evidence Against Thomas Beltran


May 5, 2008

SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- Prosecutors say there's videotaped evidence in the sexual molestation case against a Santa Monica middle school teacher.

"In the search warrant that was executed in this case we found the actual videos taken by Mr. Beltran," prosecutor Deputy District Attorney Robin Sax Katzenstein told Judge Keith Schwartz. "Here we have a case where virtually every female student that has come into contact with the defendant has had some sort of inappropriate touching, even by the defendant's own admission of being a huggy, touchy kind of person."

The announcement comes on the same day that the Los Angeles Times reported that Beltran was investigated, but not charged, for a similar crime in 2006. The newspaper reported that authorities said there was not enough evidence to charge Beltran in that case.

Outside court, the prosecutor described the video as "helping our investigation and corroborating some of the charges in this case."

Thomas Arthur Beltran, 60, has been charged with molesting five girls. The judge hiked his bail to more than $3 million on Tuesday, after Beltran pleaded not guilty to 14 criminal counts, including lewd acts on a child.

Beltra was arrested Saturday, a day after a 12-year-old girl at Lincoln Middle School, located at 1501 E. California St., told her parents that Beltran had molested her, according to Santa Monica police.

Beltran teaches English as a second language and has been at the school for 20 years.

Notices to parents were sent out Monday with information about the case.