June 28, 2010 By Wallin & Klarich

A Chico man who plead guilty to burglary with intent to commit unlawful sexual penetration was placed on probation and his prison sentence was stayed. He faced up to six years in state prison.

According to defendant Jeremy Hoptowit, 28, after a night of playing poker with friends, he broke into a house while intoxicated. The victim, a resident of the house, claimed that Hoptowit pushed her onto a bed and groped her under her dress. The victim stated that she resisted and Hoptowit fled. He was eventually apprehended by police.

Under California Penal Code sections 459 and 460(a), a person who enters a residence with the intent to commit a felony is guilty of first degree burglary. Under California Penal Code section 289(a)(1), a person who commits sexual penetration by means of force and against the victim’s will is guilty of a felony.

Hoptowit was a volunteer and coach at a local school and had over 50 letters in support from Chico residents. He had no prior criminal record.

The sentencing judge stated that because of Hoptowit’s lack of a prior criminal record, the unusual circumstances of the case indicated that probation was appropriate.

The victim and the district attorney both urged the judge to give Hoptowit the harshest punishment possible. Several prison officials also recommended imprisonment, but a prison psychologist opined that Hoptowit was not likely to reoffend and recommended probation.

Hoptowit is required to register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law, California Penal Code section 290, and any violation of his probation terms may result in a prison sentence.

If you or someone you know has been accused of a sexual assault, you will need a competent defense attorney who will present all relevant facts to the court in order to get the best result possible. At Wallin & Klarich, we have over 30 years defending a variety of criminal cases, including sex offenses. Call us today at (888) 280-6839 or visit us on our website at www.wklaw.com. We will be there when you call.

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