Jeffrey F. Rosen, District Attorney
For release on October 19, 2011DISTRICT ATTORNEY JEFF ROSEN CONDEMNS VIGILANTISM IN STATEMENT ON RESOLUTION OF TORTURE CASE OF MIGUEL CERDA AND ERIK CERDA
Vigilantism will not be tolerated in Santa Clara County. This is a community that has an ongoing battle with gang violence in which perpetrators often justify acts of retribution as retaliation for other acts of violence. The motives of the vigilante do not matter. It is not acceptable for any individual in this community to violently attack another, even when they feel they have been wronged. The only legitimate and lawful means of punishing a person who has wronged another is through the justice system.
Today, defendants Miguel Cerda and Erik Cerda pled no contest to felony assault with great bodily injury. In addition, Miguel Cerda also pled no contest to dissuading a witness from testifying. As part of the settlement, Miguel Cerda will be sentenced to state prison for a term of at least two years and no more than eight years, and Erik Cerda will be sentenced to state prison for a term of at least two years and no more than seven years. Judge Jacqueline Arroyo will sentence both defendants on January 20, 2012, following a sentencing hearing. Throughout this case, the District Attorney's Office balanced a number of factors with the goal of achieving a just result. We were mindful of the impact that continuing the legal process would have on the child molestation victim and sought to minimize that impact. We also considered the 22 year prison sentence that Avelino Rodriguez received. This resolution of the case against Miguel Cerda and Erik Cerda balances the community's need to hold the perpetrators of a violent crime responsible for their actions with the circumstances surrounding this case.