MONTEREY COUNTY – On October 20, 2020, Robert Cabral Salazar, 61, from Delhi, was sentenced to 22 years and eight months in prison for the forcible sexual assault on Jane Doe committed on April 2, 2019 at the victim’s family ranch in southern Monterey County.
On April 3, 2019, Jane Doe, who has an intellectual disability, was overheard on the phone by her caregiver, promising Salazar that she would keep their secret. Jane Doe’s caregiver immediately called Jane Doe’s aunt, who questioned the victim about what she had said on the phone. Jane Doe wrote on a piece of paper (a common method of communication for Jane Doe) “sex” and explained that “Salazar told her that it was a good time, but Jane Doe said it wasn’t.”
The Monterey County Sheriff’s Office and the Monterey County Sexual Assault Response Teams were activated after being notified by the aunt of the contents of the conversation.
Jane Doe was forensically interviewed at the Bates Eldridge Child Advocacy Center where she outlined hours of sexual assault by Salazar, who was a visitor to the family ranch while Jane Doe’s parents were out of town. Salazar knew Jane Doe, her entire life and was aware of her disability. Jane Doe’s pajamas, which she was wearing at the time of the assault, tested positive for the Salazar’s DNA when examined by California Department of Justice Jan Bashiniski DNA Laboratory criminalists.
“I am so grateful the California Department of Justice has forensic labs throughout the state and criminalists who work daily with science and technology to examine and process evidence,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. “In a case such as this, DNA evidence is key confirming the identity of a suspect and convicting that predator. California DOJ criminalists are true partners in public safety and criminal justice. Many cases would go nowhere without their work. I thank them for their service. Our thoughts continue to be with the victim and her family.”
Jane Doe testified at the preliminary hearing conducted on August 15, 2019. On September 15, 2020, Salazar pled to one count of forcible rape, one count of forcible sodomy, one felony count of dissuasion of a victim, and admitted to having a 1987 prior “strike” conviction from Stanislaus County for forcible rape.
After much contemplation by the victim’s family, a plea agreement was reached in which Salazar would serve 22 years and eight months in prison, register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, and have no contact with Jane Doe.
During the sentencing hearing, Jane Doe’s words of pain and torment from that night were read by her aunt. The court also heard from Jane Doe’s mother in painstaking detail how the defendant’s sexual assault has affected not only Jane Doe’s emotional health and progress on her road to an independent living situation, but how it has impacted every member of their family.