Submitted by Del Norte County District Attorney’s Office – March 30, 2017 –
The Del Norte District Attorney’s Office announced that Roger Lee Roberts (54) of Crescent City, was sentenced this afternoon to serve an aggregate sentence of 362 years to life in state prison. Earlier this month, a Del Norte County jury found Roberts guilty of a total of 20 of 21 separate charges and allegations related to conduct that occurred between May, 2015 and September, 2015 involving a 15 year old female. The charges were as follows: ten counts of unlawful sexual intercourse with the minor, one special allegation of causing great bodily injury for impregnating the minor, four counts of furnishing methamphetamine to the minor (each with special allegations regarding the age difference) and that the Defendant had two prior convictions for lewd and lascivious acts on a child under 14 for crimes committed in 1987 and 2000. Both of the Defendant’s prior victims testified as did the victim in the present case. The jury did not find that the Defendant, by impregnating the minor, had inflicted great bodily injury upon her. The minor gave birth to a baby in May, 2016 and paternity was confirmed to the Defendant through DNA testing. The jury did not conclude that the pregnancy amounted to great bodily injury.
District Attorney Dale P. Trigg, who personally handled all stages of the prosecution, argued at the sentencing hearing that Roberts, a “serial sexual predator,” should receive the maximum punishment available under the law. The Honorable William H. Follett had indicated earlier in the hearing that he had sentenced “cold-blooded killers to less time” and that a sentence that exceeds the natural life expectancy of Roberts did not appear to serve any purpose. Trigg countered by referencing the recent passage of Proposition 57, which could result in Roberts becoming parole eligible much sooner, and other possible changes to the law in the future that might also impact the possibility that Roberts could be paroled early notwithstanding the sentence imposed. Trigg asked Judge Follett to “send a message to this Defendant, to the community and to any parole board that every part of this case is egregious and deserving of the maximum possible sentence.” The Del Norte Probation Department concurred with Trigg and the Sentencing Memorandum he filed with the court asking for the maximum 370 to life sentence.
“This Defendant has demonstrated a pattern of behavior over the last thirty years that makes it abundantly clear that juvenile females are not safe in his presence,” said Trigg. “First and foremost, I want to express my personal gratitude and admiration to the three known victims of this predator for having the incredible courage to face him in the courtroom and tell the jury what he did to them,” said Trigg. Powerful Victim Impact statements were read in court from Roberts’ two prior victims as well as his victim in this case, all of whom implored the court to do everything possible to ensure that he remains in prison for the remainder of his life.