Man sentenced to 25 years for raping 12-year-old girl

Ruben Alvarado

A 24-year-old Lawrenceville man who is in the country illegally will spend the next 25 years behind bars for raping a 12-year-old girl his grandmother babysat.

In June 2015, the victim’s mother and older brother called the Gwinnett County Police Department to report that Ruben Alvarado had sexually assaulted the girl on at least one occasion, the Gwinnett County District Attorney’s Office said.

“The defendant is the grandson of the victim’s babysitter. The victim disclosed the abuse after her brother saw text messages between the victim and the defendant,” prosecutors said. “The brother posed as his 12-year-(old) sister in a conversation with the defendant, in which the defendant was trying to entice the child to commit sex acts.”

When the victim was questioned by police, she gave a “very detailed forensic interview of the sexual acts” committed by Alvarado, prosecutors said.

In his interview, Alvarado “denied any sexual contact with the victim,” though “the subsequent police investigation revealed that evidence from the defendant’s phone had been deleted after the defendant’s interview,” prosecutors said.

Though the man now has an U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) hold on him, officials could not place an ICE detainer on him at the time of his 2015 arrest “due to a presidential directive under the previous administration that immigration detainers could not be placed prior to conviction,” said Deputy Shannon Volkodav, spokeswoman for the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office.

“Consequently, Alvarado was in custody on charges of rape and aggravated child molestation for only a few weeks,” Volkodav said. “This now-convicted rapist and child molester who is in the country illegally was released back into the community on bond because federal laws at that time permitted it.”

Volkodav said Sheriff Butch Conway was “dismayed to learn” that Alvarado has been out on bond for the last three-and-a-half years.

“It’s shocking that a child predator was released into an unsuspecting community simply because federal laws that should protect them were not in place at the time of his arrest,” Conway said. “One can only hope he didn’t victimize other children while he was free on bond. Fortunately, the 287(g) program operating under the current administration allows us to place a detainer under these circumstances, which greatly helps us protect our community from these child predators.”

A jury convicted Alvarado on March 22 of one count of rape and one count of child molestation and acquitted him on one count of statutory rape. The jury was hung as to one count of aggravated child molestation and one count of criminal attempt to commit child molestation.

Gwinnett County Superior Court Judge Karen Beyers gave Alvarado the mandatory minimum sentence of life, with the first 25 years to be served in prison.

Crime Reporter

Isabel is a crime and health reporter for the Gwinnett Daily Post. She graduated from Emory University in 2016 with a B.A. in international studies. She is originally from the Boston area.

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