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Pair who kidnapped baby from San Jose home are sentenced to prison

Defendants in San Jose Baby Brandon kidnapping case receive prison sentences
Defendants in San Jose Baby Brandon kidnapping case receive prison sentences 00:36

A California pair accused in the notorious abduction of a three-month-old baby were sentenced to prison this week, authorities said.

The accused, 44-year-old Yesenia Guadalupe Ramirez and 29-year-old Jose Roman Portillo, allegedly kidnapped the infant, known publicly as Baby Brandon, in April of last year. The baby was taken from his family's home in San Jose and found safe one day later.

Ramirez was sentenced on Monday to 13 years and 4 months in prison, while Portillo was sentenced to 5 years, during a hearing at the superior court in Santa Clara County, the district attorney's office announced in a news release. The pair had pleaded guilty in August 2022 to eight charges brought in connection with the abduction, which included kidnapping, attempted kidnapping, conspiracy, burglary, and vehicle tampering, the office said. They faced a maximum sentence of 16 years and four months for those charges.

"While we had pushed for a maximum sentence on both the defendants, we are satisfied that this brings this sad and senseless story to an end," said Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen in a statement. "Brandon is safe, and his two kidnappers are safely behind bars."

Authorities said that a police investigation into the kidnapping revealed that Ramirez and Portillo had attempted to kidnap Brandon at least four other times prior to the actual abduction, including one instance where Portillo allegedly posed as a Child Protective Services worker intending to take custody of the baby.

When the infant was eventually kidnapped, Brandon "was taken from his grandmother's care by a mysterious man carrying a car seat," the district attorney's office wrote in Monday's announcement. Authorities allege the mysterious man was Portillo.

San Jose kidnapping suspects in court
Jose Portillo and Yesenia Ramirez in court during a previous hearing. CBS

"He was in cahoots with the grandmother's friend, Ramirez, who was helping Brandon's grandmother take care of the baby that day," the office said. "San Jose police rescued the infant less than 18 hours after he was kidnapped and soon arrested the two suspects."

Evidence collected during the police investigation suggested that Ramirez had previously pretended to her boyfriend "to be pregnant with his child," the district attorney's office said. She apparently claimed in conversations with him to have given birth in early March 2022, when authorities believe Ramirez "began to plan to kidnap Brandon Doe."

The boyfriend allegedly moved into Ramirez's home on April 23, 2022, just two days before the abduction, and inquired about the child, according to the district attorney.

At a hearing last summer, testimony indicated that Ramirez had intended to convince a romantic partner that Brandon was her own child, CBS San Francisco reported. Prosecutors argued that Portillo was in love with Ramirez and an accomplice to her kidnapping plans.

Additional evidence showed that Ramirez and Portillo planned to kidnap Brandon at a local Walmart on March 28, and again on the morning of the April 25 kidnapping, according to CBS San Francisco. Both of those attempts were unsuccessful.

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