TULARE COUNTY – A man, who was sentenced to over a century in prison for rape, agreed to the denial of his parole for the next three years.
At a virtual hearing on Nov. 1, Louis Herrera Gallegos, 61, stipulated to his unsuitability for parole for three years. This was his first parole suitability hearing, where TCDA attorneys and advocates assisted members of the victim’s family to address parole commissioners. Currently, Gallegos is serving a life sentence for sexual assault and is incarcerated at Valley State Prison in Chowchilla.
“At this particular hearing, even though he stipulated because this was his first parole suitability hearing, the family (of the victim) was present here with us in our office and they were able to read a statement to the commissioners. Even though he stipulated they were still able to talk about the impact of the case on their lives,” communication director for the district attorney’s office Stuart Anderson said.
Gallegos’ offense took place on the afternoon of April 25, 1998, when he – a convicted sex offender at the time – committed a violent sexual assault against a 93-year-old female victim in her Visalia home. After the assault, Gallegos stole the victim’s vehicle. Though having sustained major injuries, the victim was able to give a description of the defendant.
Through investigation, it was learned Gallegos had prior contact with the victim, who had allowed him to use the phone in her home a few days before the assault. On April 28, 1998, police located Gallegos near the victim’s stolen car and arrested him.
At his 1998 trial, Gallegos pleaded to multiple counts of rape, sexual assault, vehicle theft, robbery and burglary. He was sentenced to 110 years-to-life in prison. At the time of the crime, Gallegos possessed a prior rape conviction from 1983.
After her attack, the victim became a strident advocate for survivors of assault and was well respected for her efforts by community members and students. She was later bestowed with the district attorney’s “Justice Award” for her courage.