- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 12, 2015

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) - An Orange County judge who gave a less-than-mandatory sentence to a man who sodomized a 3-year-old girl says the recall effort against him is “an attack on judicial independence.”

Superior Court Judge M. Marc Kelly also says he’s been tough on crime and a recall election would waste millions in taxpayer dollars.

The Orange County Register (https://bit.ly/1HcD71d ) says Kelly’s first public response to the recall drive came Tuesday in a written rebuttal to the recall petition.

In April, Kelly gave Kevin Rojano-Nieto 10 years instead of 25 years to life for sodomizing a relative. Kelly said the mandatory sentence was unconstitutional in this case. He said experts concluded the man wasn’t a true sexual predator and the girl’s parents had asked for leniency.

The district attorney is appealing the decision.

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