Sentencing proceedings for a convicted sex offender who is in the United States seeking asylum were postponed for a second time on Thursday because probation officials are still looking for a suitable residence for the defendant so he can be placed on intense supervision, a prosecutor said.
If Cochise County probation officials can’t find a place for defendant Oscar Zeledon, a native of Nicaragua, then he could be sentenced to prison, said Deputy Cochise County Attorney Lori Zucco.
Zeledon was suppose to be sentenced Thursday morning by Cochise County Superior Court Judge Jason Lindstrom. But at the start of the hearing, Zucco and defense attorney Joshua Jones told Lindstrom they had not yet heard from probation regarding a residence for Zeledon.
“We’re going to ask that the plea agreement be rejected and that he be sent to prison,” Zucco said at the hearing.
Zeledon was arrested July 22 at the Sierra Vista Walmart after he spent two days chatting with an undercover investigator whom he thought was a 14-year-old girl he was hoping to have sex with. The investigator posing as the teenager asked Zeledon to meet him at the store and also requested that he bring a condom and a Monster energy drink.
In October, Zeledon pleaded guilty to luring a minor for sexual exploitation and attempted sexual conduct with a minor.
The Nicaraguan native is in the U.S. seeking asylum and before his arrest he was living in Phoenix and working at a car detailing business, court documents show.
He could be deported soon after he is placed on intense probation supervision or sent to prison, Zucco has said.
Lindstrom apologized to Zeledon for the delay and told Zucco and Jones he would do “everything in my power” to get the issue resolved.
The next sentencing hearing is scheduled for Nov. 22.