Pittsboro, N.C. — A man convicted in October of kidnapping his 2-year-old and fleeing with him to Mexico six years ago was sentenced Monday to five to six years in prison.
Jorge Aguilera was found guilty Oct. 27 of three counts of first-degree kidnapping and one count each of first-degree burglary and second-degree kidnapping in the Oct. 1, 2006, abduction of his son, Edwin Gonzales.
Sentencing, however, was delayed until Monday, because, at the time of Aguilera's conviction, authorities still had not been able to find the boy. Prosecutors had hoped Aguilera would reveal his son's whereabouts in return for leniency in sentencing.
Edwin, now 9, was finally reunited with his mother, Florentina Coria, last month.
Chatham County Assistant District Attorney Kayley Taber had asked Superior Court Judge Elaine Bushfan for a minimum prison sentence of 20 years for his actions.
"She has had no contact with her child the whole time," Taber said. "You don't punish a mother by taking her child. That's not appropriate. That's not what we do in a civilized society."
Authorities say Aguilera and several men broke into Coria's home wearing ski masks and latex gloves, tied her up with duct-tape, took the boy and threatened to kill him if she called police.
"This is not a child custody case," she said. "This is a domestic violence case."
Taber said Aguilera used his other family members and friends in Mexico to move Edwin around for the past six years without any education or any dental or medical care.
"He is basically functioning on the level of a kindergartener," Taber said. "He can count to 40, say his ABCs. He cannot read."
During sentencing Monday, Coria said her son is in school and working to transition to a new family and life that he is just getting to know.
"He thought I gave him away," she said through a translator. "He's suffering."
Coria said her son is sad and that she is working to get him into therapy.
"I want what's best for him," she said. "I'm working with him right now, trying to forget what happened."