Photo via Pixabay
Photo via Pixabay

A 39-year-old man convicted of molesting a disabled male relative, starting when he was 5 to 6 years old, is set Thursday to have his life sentence reduced to at most about 14 years behind bars because of an appellate court ruling.

Jeffrey Adam Tracy, formerly of Huntington Beach, was sentenced Dec. 5, 2014, to 36 years to life in prison for molesting the victim. He was convicted in October 2014 of two counts of oral copulation of a child 10 years old or younger, four counts of lewd acts on a child younger than 14 and a count of using a minor for sex acts, all felonies.

Now Tracy faces up to 14 years and eight months in prison, according to court records obtained today.

A panel of Fourth District Court of Appeal justices upheld Tracy’s convictions on two counts of lewd acts on a child and a felony for recording the victim during a sex act.

However, the justices reversed his convictions on the other felony counts because there wasn’t proper corroborating evidence of those crimes beyond Tracy’s confession, according to the Jan. 12 ruling.

The justices ruled, “a conviction cannot stand where the only evidence supporting the conviction consists of the defendant’s extrajudicial statements.”

The legal rule is to prevent defendants from confessing to crimes they did not commit.

The justices ruled “independent evidence showed (the victim) was molested in this matter on two separate occasions as evidence by the recordings made on those occasions. Other than defendant’s statements, there is no evidence (the victim) was molested more than twice.”

The justices noted that the victim did not testify in the trial “and there was no medical evidence indicating multiple molestations.”

Prosecutors characterized Tracy as a church worship leader when he was convicted.

Federal authorities started investigating Tracy in April 2013 when they suspected he was uploading child pornography videos. That led to his arrest in September 2013.

During that investigation, authorities discovered Tracy had molested the boy, who had an undisclosed disability, according to prosecutors.

Tracy videotaped some of the sex acts with the victim and emailed them to acquaintances, prosecutors said.

–City News Service

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