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Ceres Solis sentenced
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Ricardo Solis, 50, of Ceres, has been sentenced to eight years in prison, despite being eligible under California's "Three Strikes" law for a prison sentence of 25 years to life in prison due to his serious and violent criminal history.

Stanislaus County Deputy District Attorney Erin Peck prosecuted the case.

Solis was convicted on August 30 of failing to register as a sex offender. He had previously been convicted of forcible rape in 1985. In 1999, Solis re-offended and was convicted of physically assaulting two people, of which one suffered a skull fracture. For that crime, Solis was sentenced to serve 18 years in prison. Upon being released from prison and placed on parole, Solis immediately absconded and was a wanted "parolee at large" when arrested for failing to register as a sex offender.

Each of Solis's prior convictions qualified as serious or violent felonies under California's "Three Strikes" law, making him eligible for a life sentence. At an Oct. 30 sentencing hearing before Judge Ricardo Cordova, Deputy District Attorney Peck argued that such a sentence was appropriate for a violent sex offender given the nature of his prior convictions and his total disregard of the registration law and parole conditions.

Solis's defense attorney argued that a life sentence would be cruel and unusual punishment since Solis was being sentenced for failing to register as a sex offender. Judge Cordova agreed and granted the defense motion to strike two convictions of assault with a deadly weapon over prosecution's objection. Cordova then sentenced Solis to a determinate term of eight years in prison.