Stanislaus County District Attorney Birgit Fladager announced on Jan. 3 that Peter Manuel Arteaga, 67, of Modesto, was found unsuitable for parole during a prior hearing of the State Board of Parole Hearings held at the California Health Care Facility in Stockton. Deputy District Attorney Donya Nunes appeared at the hearing on behalf of the People.
On Dec. 20, 1999, Arteaga was convicted of possession of methamphetamine and found to have been previously convicted in San Joaquin County of two counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under age 14 in 1988. Both prior convictions counted as “strikes” under California’s “Three Strikes” law. He was sentenced on July 19, 2000 to serve 25 years to life in state prison.
Since being in custody, Arteaga has been disciplined for over 10 rule violations, most recently in 2018. A prison psychologist who interviewed him gave a written assessment to the Board stating that Arteaga represented a moderate risk for future violence in the community if he were to be paroled. The psychologist noted that since being in prison, Arteaga had failed to address his impulsivity and substance abuse problems and had only limited participation in self-help treatment. Arteaga also continued to deny responsibility for his past crimes, did not sufficiently understand the impact of his actions on his victims, nor did he appreciate the seriousness of his rule violations. Lastly, Arteaga had inadequate parole plans that did not address where he would live, how he would realistically support himself, nor could he demonstrate what skills he learned while in custody that he would apply when confronted with difficulties in a free society.
Prosecutor Nunes argued against releasing Arteaga on parole based on his actions while in custody and the unreasonable risk he posed to public safety. The Board of Parole Hearings agreed and denied parole for five years.
This was Arteaga’s first parole hearing. Since he is eligible for elderly parole, he may request another parole hearing in less than five years if there is a change in his circumstances.