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Judge Defends Comments in Sex Case

January 6, 2000

WASHINGTON (AP) _ A judge who said in court ``it takes two to tango″ in sentencing a man for having sex with an 11-year-old girl made a victim of the child, a prosecutor said.

``The judge blamed the little girl and not the defendant,″ said Doug Gansler, the state’s attorney for suburban Montgomery County, Md. ``He victimized the victim.″

In July, the girl’s mother found Vladimir Chacon-Bonilla in her daughter’s closet with his pants down. The pair met in an Internet chat room and the girl told police the sex was consensual. Chacon-Bonilla claimed he thought she was 17, and later pleaded guilty to committing a second-degree sex offense.

On Tuesday, Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Durke G. Thompson sentenced Chacon-Bonilla to 18 months in prison. But in open court, Thompson noted that the girl had invited Chacon-Bonilla into her bed and said ``it takes two to tango.″

In a statement, the judge defended his decision.

``The sentence exceeded the recommendation from the Department of Parole and Probation,″ Thompson wrote. He also cited the fact that this was Chacon-Bonilla’s first offense.

His attorney, Rebecca Nitkin, insisted her client is ``absolutely not a predator.″

Still, Gansler said that because Chacon is a citizen of El Salvador, he will urge federal authorities to deport him.

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