BUTTE COUNTY, Calif. - On Thursday, an Oroville man was sentenced to 45 years to life in prison after being convicted last April of serial molestation of children under the ages of 14 and 10, according to Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey.
The man was sentenced in Butte County Superior Court.
Robert Donovan, 36, of Oroville, was convicted of multiple counts of molesting the young girls, Ramsey said.
Donovan started molesting the girls in 2013 until he was arrested in 2018. He has been in custody since his 2018 arrest pending his conviction and sentencing on charges in the case.
The three children, now ages 10, 13, and 15, testified against Donovan.
Butte County Superior Court Judge Corrie Caraway, who presided over the jury trial, rejected arguments from Donovan’s attorney to sentence him to a lower term of 16 years in prison.
The judge agreed with the trial prosecutor, JJ Stark-Modlin, that Donovan should be sentenced to the maximum life term.
Justice, in this case, was slowed due to numerous defense continuances and the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Ramsey.
“Despite Donovan’s sentence of 45 years to life, the California Legislature’s new ‘Elder Parole program’ passed last year will allow inmates to seek parole after only 20 years of custody as long as they are also 50 years old – regardless of how many years a judge orders,” Ramsey said.
Donovan will be eligible for parole in 2038.