PARKER, Colo. – A former Parker martial arts instructor was sentenced this week to three years in prison after he pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting two students at the Otomi Martial Arts studio.
Jose Hilario Soto, 21, pleaded guilty in October to one count of attempted sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust and one count of sexual exploitation of a child in exchange for other counts being dropped.
He was sentenced Monday to three years in prison to be followed by two years of parole. Soto will also have to register as a sex offender and serve 10 years of sex offender intensive supervised probation, the district attorney’s office said.
The two students reported the assault in May 2017 and the studio’s owner worked with law enforcement to investigate Soto.
“The defendant robbed the victims of a sense of security – he took that safe place away from them. These little girls were absolutely fearless in being able to tell someone what had happened to them,” said 18th Judicial Deputy District Attorney Valerie Brewer at Soto’s sentencing.
The parents of the victims also testified at Soto’s sentencing. One father said Soto needed a “tangible consequence” for his crimes.
“The world is full of thugs and miscreants and deviants, but those who abuse children who are defenseless and innocent … I’ll never figure that out,” the father said.
“You are raising some pretty amazing young ladies,” Judge Theresa Slade told the families. “They are brave, and they continue to show bravery and compassion.”