Solomon Vega Jr. was fortunate when he pleaded no contest in 2013 to felony injury to a child.
He was originally charged with six counts of sexual abuse of a minor for incidents that took place in Ada County between 2006 and 2011 and faced a long prison sentence if convicted of those crimes.
He didn’t land in prison at all. Instead, he was placed on seven years probation.
Things went bad for Solomon, now 39, in December 2013, about six months after he walked out of the Ada County Jail a free man. He violated his probation and a warrant was issued for his arrest.
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He was on the lam for about a year before Gooding police and sheriff’s deputies, acting on an anonymous tip, located him in Gooding County and took him into custody.
Ada County District Judge Jason Scott threw the book at Vega, sentencing him to two to seven years in prison, the original sentence that was suspended in favor of probation. He was taken to the Idaho State Correctional Institution south of Boise.
Vega appealed imposition of the sentence to the Idaho Court of Appeals. He argued Scott abused his discretion in revoking Vega’s probation and sending him to prison.
A three-member appeals court panel ruled that a judge has the right to revoke probation if any of the terms and conditions of the probation have been violated.
“The court may, after a probation violation has been established, order that the suspended sentence be executed or, after a probation violation has been established, order that the suspended sentence be executed or, in the alternative, the court is authorized under Idaho Criminal Rule 35 to reduce the sentence,” Judges John Melanson, Sergio Gutierrez and David Gratton wrote in a two-page decision issued this month.
The judges ruled that Scott has not abused his discretion in revoking Vega’s probation.