Posted: Tuesday, October 27, 2015 11:44 pm
By JIM SECKLER The Daily News

KINGMAN — An undocumented immigrant accused of molesting a young girl was given two choices Tuesday: go to trial or take a plea offer.

Jose Raul Ramos-Ramirez, 36, is charged with one count of child molestation. He is being held in county jail without bond.

In a settlement conference, Superior Court Commissioner Billy Sipe Jr. explained the 10- to 24-year prison sentence if the defendant is convicted of the molestation charge at his trial. The judge also explained the five- to 10-year stipulated prison sentence if Ramos-Ramirez accepts a plea agreement and pleads guilty to attempted child molestation.

Through two different Spanish interpreters, Ramos-Ramirez asked if probation was an option but Deputy Mohave County Attorney Jacob Cote said because of the defendant’s immigration status and the seriousness of the crime, he would not offer probation as part of the plea agreement.

Sipe also continued the remainder of the settlement conference until sometime next week. A different judge usually explains sentencing ranges or plea offers to a defendant in a settlement conference.

Ramos-Ramirez’s next hearing before Superior Court Judge Steve Conn is set for Tuesday. A trial date has not been set. Cote said the plea offer is valid only until the hearing following Tuesday’s hearing.

Ramos-Ramirez was arrested July 4 at Community Park in Bullhead City after an 11-year-old girl told her mother that Ramos-Ramirez molested her, according to Bullhead City police.

Ramos-Ramirez and the girl rode a personal watercraft into shallow water of the Colorado River when the suspect got off the vehicle, made inappropriate comments and then allegedly touched her. After returning to her family, the girl told her mother, who called police.