Today, the Court sentenced defendant Wesley Panighetti to 280 years to life for 3 counts of forcible sodomy, 2 counts of forcible oral copulation, one count of criminal threats, one count of first degree burglary, one count of attempting to dissuade a witness, and one count of battery upon a protected person (DV victim).
Defendant’s indeterminate (life) sentence was based on the fact that he had two prior strike offenses for felony assault which also provided the basis for 2 prior serious felony enhancements (Nickel priors) that applied to each of the felony counts for which he was convicted, increasing his exposure on each felony count to 35 to life. The Court denied the defense request to strike the strike priors under Penal Code section 1385 as well as the enhancements. He was ordered to register as sex offender for life and to submit bodily fluid samples and prints for entry into the CODIS DNA system. A criminal protective order will also be issued to further protect the victim.
At the sentencing, the prosecution read the victim’s impact statement, in which she detailed the terrors she had been subjected to at the hands of the defendant over the course of their 20 year on and off relationship, the power he had exercised over her, her resulting trauma, and her appreciation to the Nevada County Deputy DA handing the case as well as her Victim-Witness advocate Kim Leland for supporting her throughout the emotionally and mentally taxing process of a criminal prosecution.
This case was investigated by Nevada County Sheriff’s Office and the District Attorney Investigators and prosecuted by DDA Helenaz Hill.