Jurors voted to convict a Santa Ana man of sexual assault against two girls ages 11 and 13 as well as impose sentencing enhancement related to burglary. Part of the suspect's criminal defense denied that the burglaries were for the purpose of sexual molestation, but the jury chose to add the sentencing enhancements despite the suspects' claims. The defendant now faces up to 194 years to life in prison.
The charges sprang from five incidents in which the suspect allegedly broke into Orange County homes of young girls and women and touched or fondled them. In investigating the two cases for which the defendant was convicted, police uncovered evidence of several other alleged breaking-and-entering and fondling attempts.
The defendant allegedly broke into an 11-year-old girls' house in February 2010 and held her down as he fondled her. When she managed to get free, he fled. His DNA was found in the home where the attack took place, and matched to DNA from a 2003 break-in during which the victim awoke before the man could touch her. The defendant served four years in 2003 for a conviction for molestation and was deported to Mexico after serving his time, but apparently re-entered the country illegally. His attorney argued that the burglaries for which he is charged were not committed for sexual arousal.
A defendant in a criminal trial is often confronted with physical evidence such as DNA that links him or her to the crime scene. When this is the case, it may be beneficial to speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney who can either build a criminal defense that logically explains the presence of the DNA or seek a plea bargain with the prosecution so that the suspect may receive reduced charges or a lesser sentence.
Source: Southwest Riverside News Network, "Orange County: Man convicted today of breaking into homes and sexually molesting young girls," Nov. 15, 2012