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Judges have some discretion in sentencing criminals if they feel a specific punishment may be too severe for the crime committed. Apparently, Orange County Superior Court Judge M. Marc Kelly reached this conclusion when he slashed 15 years off of a prison sentence for a man convicted of sodomizing a three-year-old girl.

In December, Kevin Jonas Rojano-Nieto was found guilty of lewd or lascivious acts with a minor and sodomizing a child under ten. The conviction comes with a “mandatory” 25-years-to-life-imprisonment sentence.

But last week, Judge Kelly deemed this to be cruel and unusual punishment, and reduced Rojano-Nieto's sentence to just ten years behind bars.

Kelly explained his decision as follows:

“[I]n looking at the facts of Mr. Rojano's case, the manner in which this offense was committed is not typical of a predatory, violent brutal sodomy of a child case...Mr. Rojano did not seek out or stalk (the victim). He was playing video games and she wandered into the garage. He inexplicably became sexually aroused but did not appear to consciously intend to harm (the victim) when he sexually assaulted her.”

Kelly also noted Rojano-Nieto's “dysfunctional” family environment growing up, and said the 20-year-old has shown remorse for his actions.

Kelly added:

“Although serious and despicable, this does not compare to a situation where a pedophilic child predator preys on an innocent child. There was no violence or callous disregard for (the victim's) well-being.”

According to reports, Rojano-Nieto put his hand over the young girl's mouth to keep her from calling out to her mother during the incident. The Los Alamitos-Seal Beach Patch reports:

“The crime came to light moments later in the kitchen when the girl complained of pain in her anus and the mother noticed it was torn.”

Some people don't agree with Kelly's sentence reduction:

There is a petition on Change.org calling for “justice” for the young rape victim and a Facebook campaign to get Kelly removed from the bench.

There are reports that the prosecutor is mulling an appeal of the judge's sentence.