I-Team: Victim Waits Years for Resolution in Sex Assault Case - 8 News NOW

I-Team: Victim Waits Years for Resolution in Sex Assault Case

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Paul Santiago, a registered sex offender, worked at Montevista Hospital. Paul Santiago, a registered sex offender, worked at Montevista Hospital.

LAS VEGAS -- A man charged with three felony counts of sexual assault is suspected in three other cases while he was out on bail. The I-Team has learned his case has sat in the criminal courts unresolved for years.

This story is about a man who has fallen through every crack in the very system designed to protect people and the innocent little girl who is forever changed because of it.

A small Montana town feels about as far away from Las Vegas as you can get. Kody, 18, whose last name is not being revealed to protect her privacy, calls it a safe distance from where, she says, a predator changed her forever.

"I just wish somebody would care," Kody said.

She has waited eight years for somebody to punish the man she says sexually assaulted her. That man is Paul Santiago, a registered sex offender, was also a licensed nurse. In 2004, Santiago worked at Montevista Hospital, the psychiatric facility where Kody was placed as a foster child.

"It's just like people have awesome stories to tell about their childhood and when I think of mine that's the only thing I think of," she said.

Christmas day, the happiest day of the year for many kids, is when 10-year-old Kody allegedly lost her innocence. Santiago is accused of tricking her into oral sex while her eyes were covered with gauze. According to court records, the 53-year-old Santiago called it the chocolate game.

"I don't want to see that guy. Last time I went to court in Vegas, like when he was there, he just sat there and smiled at me and it was really creepy." Kody said.

"What's happened since then, nothing, nothing," Kody's attorney Steven Day said.

He represents Kody in her civil lawsuit against Montevista Hospital, but his focus these days is on the criminal courts. Although prosecutors formally charged Santiago with three felony counts in 2007, the case remains open.

"My frustration has always been why in the hell isn't this case getting tried? It's frustrating for me, it's frustrating for my client that we can't get any resolution anywhere," Day said.

According to court records, Santiago's trial has been postponed nine times. The case seemed close to an end in August of 2011 with a deal that allowed for a no contest plea in exchange for probation. However, the sentencing judge, now retired Judge Donald Mosley, rejected the agreement. Noting there was enough evidence to quote "convict this fellow over and over."

Santiago maintains his innocence and dubs his accuser as a liar with a history of false allegations. An argument that helped to keep him out of jail and free on bail for most of the last five years. But in September, Santiago again found himself behind bars accused while working at a medical facility of sexually assaulting three new victims.

"First time, second time, three times, how many times until it sinks in? That's what I just don't get," Kody said.

From her safe distance, Kody looks to the beauty of her surroundings, to color her ugly past. 

"There are days when I just cry because I hate my life and I wish it was different," she said.

A trial date for Kody's case is set for February of next year. Until then, Santiago is being held without bail. Montevista Hospital is now under new ownership.

Tonight at 11, a look at the other systems that are supposed to keep a convicted sex offenders from having access to vulnerable people but don't work.

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