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A repeat offender found guilty of raping a child


Juan Sanchez Jr’s criminal history includes a conviction of rape in November 1997 in which Sanchez spent 20 years in prison. The violation in this case took place less than one year after Sanchez was released from prison.

An Ashtabula County Prosecutor Nicholas Iarocci press release.


JEFFERSON_ The jury returned verdicts of guilty against Juan Sanchez, Jr. Friday, August 31, after a four-day jury trial before Ashtabula County Common Pleas Judge Thomas E. Harris.

Sanchez was convicted on the following charges: one count of RAPE, a first degree felony; two counts of GROSS SEXUAL IMPOSITION, each of which is third degree felony; five counts of PANDERING OBSENITY INVOLVING A MINOR, each of which is a second degree felony; and five counts of ILLEGAL NUDITY OF MINOR IN NUDITY-ORIENTED MATERIAL OR PERFORMANCE, each of which is a second degree felony.

In August 2017, while visiting the home of the mother and her six-year old daughter, Juan Sanchez, Jr. sexually violated the child while she was sleeping in her bed and her mother was sleeping. In addition, Sanchez took several photographs of the assault of the child on his cell phone. The next morning, Sanchez left the home and the child immediately thereafter reported the incident to her mother. The mother was able to develop a scheme whereby she would pick up Sanchez that day to go shopping in Cleveland in an attempt to acquire his cell phone. The mother picked up Sanchez and proceeded to drive to Cleveland. While in the Mentor area, the mother was able to secure Sanchez’s cell phone at the time he was in a store and found the illicit photos of the child on the phone. The mother immediately departed the Mentor store, leaving Sanchez behind. The mother and family contacted the Ashtabula County Sheriff’s Department to report the sexual assault, and deputies and detectives thereafter met the mother and took possession of the cell phone and the child’s clothes and bedding, among other things.

The Ohio Rules of Evidence prohibited the jury from hearing evidence at the trial of Sanchez’s criminal history, which included a conviction of Rape in November 1997 after which Sanchez spent 20 years in prison. The violation in this case took place less than one year after Sanchez was released from prison.

The State of Ohio was represented at the trial by Ashtabula County Prosecuting Attorney Nicholas Iarocci and Assistant Prosecutor Alexandria Heinonen, and Sanchez was represented by Ashtabula County Chief Public Defender Marie Lane and Assistant Public Defender Margaret Brunarski.  The jury deliberated approximately three hours before reaching its verdict.

I would like to thank the following for their outstanding and professional investigative work in this case to secure a conviction against Sanchez: Lt. Terry Moisio, Deputy Jason Francis, Detectives Brian Cumberledge, Jeff Brown, George Taylor Cleveland, and Ted Barger of the Ashtabula County Sheriff’s Department; Kathleen Hackett, RN of the Ohio Rainbow and Babies Children’s Hospital; Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation Forensic Scientists Christine Hammett, Lindsey Nelsen-Rausch, and Hallie Dreyer; and the Adult Parole Authority. I would also like to thank family members of the child and several other witnesses who took time out of their busy schedules to testify at trial. I would like to thank Miss Heinonen for her dedicated and quality work in this case, as well as the Victims of Crime Assistance Unit of this office.  Finally, I would like to express our sincere appreciation to the members of the jury for their focused attention and service in performing their civic duty on a very difficult case like this one.

After the verdicts were handed down, Judge Harris ordered a pre-sentence investigation be conducted prior to sentencing. Sanchez will be sentenced by Judge Harris at a later date. Sanchez faces a sentence of LIFE IN PRISON. Sanchez remains incarcerated in the Ashtabula County Jail, where he has been in custody since August 23, 2017.

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