A man accused of luring a 17–year-old developmentally disabled girl into a public bathroom in downtown San Luis Obispo before sexually assaulting her in December will likely face at least 20 years in prison after pleading no contest to the most serious charge against him Tuesday.
Just before jury selection was scheduled to begin in San Luis Obispo Superior Court on Tuesday, Manuel Reyes Luevano, a 48-year-old man with no known city of residence, pleaded no contest to a felony count of assault on a minor with intent to commit a felony.
In exchange for his plea, prosecutors moved to dismiss charges of forced oral copulation, kidnapping, sexual battery and false imprisonment.
His charge carried with it two enhancements for having prior convictions, including one “strike.” In total, Luevano faces up to 23 years in prison, of which he must serve at least 85 percent before he can be eligible for parole.
On Dec. 28, 2014, the teenager got separated from her family during an afternoon shopping trip in downtown San Luis Obispo, according to the San Luis Obispo Police Department. In the 1200 block of Morro Street, she reportedly approached Luevano, who was sitting on a bench, for directions. He then took the girl to a nearby public bathroom near a parking garage, forced her inside and locked the door behind them.
Police say Luevano assaulted the teen for several minutes before she was able to escape. She later provided police with a detailed description and officers located Luevano nearby.
Luevano has a long criminal history dating back to the 1980’s that includes prior arrests for sexual and domestic battery, attempted robbery, alcohol-related offenses, petty theft and vandalism, according to court records.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Jerret Gran said Tuesday that prosecutors were pleased with the outcome and defended the plea agreement by saying the likely sentence will keep Luevano in prison for most of the rest of his life.
Should he be paroled, he will be required to re-register as a sex offender and would be eligible for a third strike under California’s “Three Strikes” Law should he commit another serious crime.
Brian Buckley, Luevano’s attorney, could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday.
Luevano is due back in court for sentencing on Oct. 19.