Friday, 01 March 2024

Northshore man sentenced to 15-year prison term for sexual assault

LAKEPORT – A local man has received a sentence of more than 15 years in prison after being convicted of a sexual assault that took place last year.


On Monday Darnell James Mitchell, 46, of Nice was sentenced to state prison by Judge Arthur H. Mann for a sexual assault that took place last November.


Mitchell pleaded guilty on Aug. 24 to one count of assault with intent to commit rape, which is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for two, four or six years, according to the District Attorney's Office.


Police reports indicate that on Nov. 2, 2008, the victim was at Mitchell’s residence with several other people.


The victim, who was 14 years old, consumed an unknown amount of alcohol and then she, Mitchell and another 18 year-old female left the residence and went to a nearby playground and continued to drink.


The investigation found that Mitchell attempted to grope the 18-year-old. She was able to escape but was forced to leave the victim, who was at that time passed out from the effects of the alcohol.


The 18-year-old shortly returned to the park with another young woman to help her get the victim home. There they saw Mitchell lying on top of the victim.


Mitchell reportedly fled when he saw the two young women approaching. The two young women then took the victim home.


Judge Mann elected to impose the upper term of six years, which was doubled to 12 years because Mitchell admitted that he had been convicted of a prior strike in Alameda County in 1997.


Mitchell’s sentence was further enhanced by two years because he admitted that he had served two prior prison terms. He previously was sentenced to a term in state prison for failure to maintain registration as a sex offender and one prior prison term, so another one year and eight months was added to his sentence.


The District Attorney's Office said the total aggregate term is 15 years and eight months. Because assault with intent to commit rape is a violent felony, Mitchell must serve 85 percent of his sentence before he is eligible for parole.


The lead investigator on the case was Det. Mike Curran of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. Mitchell was represented by Jeremy Dzubay.


The victim received services through the District Attorney’s Victim Witness program. The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Ed Borg.

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