Man Gets 32 Years for Raping Girl

An Oxnard man was sentenced to the maximum 32 years in prison Thursday for raping a 16-year-old Oxnard girl last August--his second rape conviction.

Bobby Joe Cangas, a 39-year-old packinghouse worker, confessed to police that he raped the girl in his car. He claimed she was a prostitute he had picked up from a south Oxnard street and paid $20--an accusation the girl denied.

Cangas, who was convicted of rape in 1980, was charged with rape, failing to register as a sex offender and three other counts. He pleaded guilty to rape and one other count as part of a plea agreement.

Jorge Alvarado, Cangas' attorney, asked Superior Court Judge Steven Hintz for a six-year sentence, arguing that his client had expressed remorse and admitted guilt early on. Moreover, Alvarado argued that the rape occurred in part because the girl began sexual relations with Cangas.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Dee Corona asked Hintz for the harshest possible sentence, arguing that Cangas' two rapes proved he was a dangerous sexual predator. Corona said she did not know whether the girl was a prostitute or not, but argued that it hardly mattered: She was a minor who was raped and sexually battered.

"You can't force somebody to have sex," Corona said. "Twenty dollars doesn't buy you that right."

Hintz said he chose the maximum sentence of two consecutive 16-year terms because he believed Cangas was a danger to society. He also ordered him to pay $2,000 in restitution. Alvarado said he will appeal the sentence.

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