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Child molester sentence upheld

Appeal Capitol Bureau

The Nevada Supreme Court Monday upheld the conviction of a Reno man on charges including the sexual assault of a 9-year-old girl.

Julio Cesar Navas is serving 20-to-life for sexually assaulting the girl, 10-to-life for lewdness with a minor, two one-year terms for open and gross lewdness and up to five years for intimidating or bribing a witness.

Navas appealed, arguing the district court should have conducted further hearings into whether he was competent to stand trial because his mental condition had deteriorated after his initial competency hearing. The high court panel consisting of Justices Michael Cherry, Mark Gibbons and Nancy Saitta pointed out he was ruled competent less than three months before his trial and that there was no sign during the trial or sentencing that his mental health was a problem.

He also argued his right to a speedy trial was violated by the nearly four years between his arrest and conviction. The high court found that most of the delay was caused by the fact Navas withdrew his original plea of no contest and his lawyer’s request for a continuance so his competency could be evaluated.