WILKES-BARRE — Child molester Jose A. Ramos will spend six to 20 years in state prison for failing to register an address under Megan’s Law the last time he left prison.
Luzerne County Judge David W. Lupas handed down the sentence against Ramos, 70, who was convicted in January after a two-day trial.
Ramos spent 27 years in prison for molesting children in Western Pennsylvania. A jury found him guilty of providing false information when prison officials approached him in October 2012 to ask where he planned to live after his sentence ended on Nov. 7, 2012, about three weeks later.
“It appears that for such a long period of incarceration, that the defendant has not been adequately rehabilitated,” Lupas said.
Ramos said at his trial that he gave prison officials a Bronx, New York, address prior to being released despite not being sure if a relative still lived there, arguing he intended to go to New York and see if a cousin still lived there.
“After that, if I couldn’t stay there, I was going to go to the nearest precinct” to register, Ramos said at the trial.
Prosecutors testified investigation revealed the relative Ramos said he was going to live with hadn’t lived in the apartment since 1983, had a different last name from the one he provided and no intention of communicating with an estranged cousin she hadn’t seen in more than 30 years, let alone live with him.
“I’m very happy,” Luzerne County Deputy District Attorney Alexis Falvello said of the sentence.
Ramos was long a suspect in the disappearance of 6-year-old Etan Patz, who vanished May 25, 1979, after leaving his Manhattan, New York, home bound for a bus stop two blocks away. Ramos was later declared responsible for Patz’s death in a civil court, but the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office said there wasn’t enough evidence for criminal charges.
In 2012, a former convenience store clerk confessed to murdering Patz, according to police. New York State Supreme Court Justice Maxwell Wiley in Manhattan last year declared Ramos a material witness and ordered him to testify. Ramos has been trying to fight the order.
Hernandez was supposed to go to trial in New York this week, but the case has been pushed back, possibly into the summer.
Speaking before Lupas on Thursday with representatives of the New York County District Attorney’s Office present in the courtroom, Ramos vowed not to cooperate.
“I will tell Judge Maxwell Riley that I refuse to answer on the grounds of the Fifth Amendment. I will say that constantly,” Ramos said, referring to the amendment which is frequently invoked as protection against self-incrimination.
A New York DA spokeswoman said the office declined to comment.
Ramos also told Lupas he didn’t expect the judge to release him, but wanted him to know about the “mental torture” he endured at the hands of state prison officials, and that he had been beaten by his parents for years.
The judge allowed Ramos to remain the county prison for another 10 days, during which time he may file any any post-sentence motions. Ramos has 30 days to file an appeal, but the judge refused a request to let him stay in the county prison for another full month.