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Former CHP officer Jacob Duenas avoids prison in molestation case

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CHICO, Calif. - Former California Highway Patrol officer Jacob Duenas was sentenced to 180 days in jail and 5 years of probation for molesting a 10-year-old boy in Chico in 2014.

Prosecutor Deputy District Attorney Matt Taylor said Judge Tamara Mosbarger's sentence goes against both the recommendation from the probation department and the court appointed psychologist, Dr. Daisy Switzer.

Dr. Switzer determined Duenas is a pedophile and is sexually violent.

Judge Mosbarger's reasoning was based on victim testimony she called inconsistent with the forensic interview that victim had given two years prior.

Taylor said she also indicated that the five year probation will give the court more time to monitor Duenas, but he disagreed, saying prison was a more appropriate fit for the crimes Duenas committed.

"My feelings on the sentencing are summed up in one word, surprised," said Deputy District Attorney Matt Taylor. "What makes this case unusual is that you have a psychologist, independently commissioned by the court, who made a finding that Mr. Duenas was a pedophile and a sexual predator and regardless of that, the judge sentenced Mr. Duenas to probation."

Taylor said there are a total of five victims. Duenas had two previous molestation/annoyance convictions in Monterey County where he was a California Highway Patrol Officer in Salinas.

Duenas is now a registered sex offender on Megan's Law, but with good behavior, Duenas will serve only 90 of his 180 days in jail.

Jacob Duenas is the son of Mark Duenas, a man serving a sentence of 25 years to life for the May 2012 murder of his wife in their Cottonwood home.

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