via Wikimedia Commons
via Wikimedia Commons

A 36-year-old man was convicted Thursday of sexually assaulting two underage female relatives in Santa Ana.

Jurors for Ruben Tajimaroa, however, deadlocked 8-4 for guilt on one count of sexual intercourse with a child 10 years or younger, prompting Deputy District Attorney Whitney Bokosky to dismiss the charge.

The jury found Tajimaroa guilty of sexually assaulting the two girls — who are nine years apart in age — in attacks dating back to 2004.

The older victim, now 18, was born in Mexico and was 6 years old when she moved to Santa Ana with her mother and a sibling, according to Bokosky.

Shortly after the mother and her two daughters moved here, the defendant “started touching” the older girl, Bokosky said. In one  incident, he took her into a shower and sexually assaulted her, Bokosky said.

“She was confused, she didn’t understand,” Bokosky said. “She didn’t know it was wrong.”

Tajimaroa also showed the girl pornographic videos and would record the girl on a cell phone when she was nude, Bokosky said.

“He told her he liked watching her when she was naked,” Bokosky said.

When the girl was 12 and went on a church retreat she began to realize the conduct was wrong, so she “prayed” for the defendant, Bokosky said. She confronted him and told him to stop molesting her, the prosecutor said.

In September of last year, the other girl, who is now 9, told her mother, “my privates hurt, but (Tajimaroa) didn’t touch me,” Bokosky said.

That raised the suspicions of the girl’s mother, who took her to a clinic for a checkup, Bokosky said. She was diagnosed with a urinary tract infection, the prosecutor said.

The incident with the younger victim prompted the older girl to tell her mother about the defendant’s molestation, Bokosky said.

When Tajimaroa was arrested in September of last year, police found pornographic videos in the room he was renting, Bokosky said.

When police questioned him he admitted to molesting the older girl, but denied touching the younger one and blamed the infection on “poor hygiene,” Bokosky said.

Tajimaroa’s attorney, Lisa Eyanson, said her client “did admit to lewd acts with the older” girl.

But he had a closer relationship with the younger girl and would not molest her, Eyanson said.

“My client’s relationship with the two girls is very different,” the defense attorney said.

Tajimaroa — scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 21 — faces at least 25 years to life in prison.

–City News Service 

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