It took a Pima County Superior Court jury only an hour of deliberation before convicting David Soto Cecena, 41.
His child victim was 4-years-old when Cecena began sexual abusing her. By the time she was 14, nine years later, this vicious child rapist was sexually exploiting the terrified girl on a daily basis.
The cold-blooded pedophile is described as having “absconded” when his bail, which was originally set at the ridiculously low amount of $10,000, was further lowered to a mere $5,000 by sympathetic judge, Deborah Bernini, when she learned the pedophile’s 11-year-old son was terminally ill. Bernini might have shown similar compassion for the victim of Cecena’s continuous brutality, and for the future victims of this pedophile, by denying his hardship request.
As might reasonably be expected, Cecena made the lowered bail and fled. He was not present for either the trial or verdict. In the unlikely possibility he is ever caught, a sentence, which ranges from 13 to 27 years, will be imposed.
Unfortunately, Judge Bernini is not up for retention on the November 2 General Election ballot. On the Pima County court’s welcome video Presiding Judge Jan Kearney says their mission is to provide timely, fair and efficient justice which instills public confidence in the system.
In this case the mission has fallen far short of its goal.
Recently Deborah O’Malley, formerly with The Heritage Foundation Center for Legal and Judicial Studies and now a Fellow at the John Jay Institute wrote this cogent review titled A Defense of the Elected Judiciary.
We urge you to read it. There are forty-eight judges up for retention in Maricopa County (greater Phoenix area), eight judges in Pima County (greater Tucson), and seven judges standing for retention on Division One of the Court of Appeals. Of the five Arizona Supreme Court Justices, only the name of the chief justice will appear on the November ballot.
Not a single Arizona judge has ever been removed through the farcical retention process.