Convicted sexual predator Jeff Calica was sentenced Dec. 18 to three years of probation for having sex with a 12-year-old middle schooler, a San Diego judge has ruled.
Judge Michael Washington suspended a three-year prison sentence in favor of probation, in line with terms of what he called a "generous" plea bargain reached with prosecutors, according to KNSD.
The news was met with outrage by the victim's mother, who likened the sentence to "giving a child a timeout, with no serious consequences" and referred to Calica as a "rapist" in a letter read in court by her attorney after the ruling, reported The Coast News Group.
Calica, now 20, originally befriended the girl through his YouTube page, according to The Coast News Group. On three separate occasions, he drove three hours from his home in Oxnard, California, to meet the girl, who was at the time a student at Earl Warren Middle School in Solana Beach.
The two reportedly had sex in his car, with Calica expressing his desire to marry the girl in subsequent messages.
According to a probation report obtained by The Coast News Group, beginning around December 2016 the victim's mother discovered various explicit communications between her daughter and Calica.
On Jan. 26, Calica spoke to the victim's mother, a conversation in which he admitted the relationship, expressed his sincere feelings for the victim, and ask her to not contact authorities. Calica was arrested on Jan. 31.
As part of the terms of his probation, Calica must submit to periodic lie detector tests and must refrain from using social media sites such as Google Hangouts, according to KNSD.
Washington noted Calica's relatively young age as an extenuating circumstance, but added that his youth will not give him any second chances.
The judge advised Calica that he is on a short leash. He was warned by Washington that he will "be in adult prison for child molestation" if he violates probation. "And as you might be aware, that's not the type of charge that you're going to want to find yourself in prison for."
A probation report cited Calica's lack of prior criminal history and his vocal acknowledgment of wrongdoing early in the investigation in recommending the more lenient sentence. Calica will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
Following the incidents with her daughter, the victim's mother filed a lawsuit against the San Dieguito Union High School District, claiming that lax internet and attendance policies made it possible for Calica to violate her daughter.