A Torrance man who sexually assaulted a 2-year-old girl taken from a Gardena car wash was sentenced Wednesday to 55 years to life in state prison.
Superior Court Judge Eric C. Taylor also ordered Michael David Ikeler, 38, to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, according to Deputy District Attorney Allyson Ostrowski.
Ikeler was found guilty Jan. 27 of one count of committing a lewd act on a child and two counts of sexual penetration of a child 10 or younger. Jurors also found true an allegation that the lewd act was committed during the course of a kidnapping.
The toddler was abducted while with her mother at a car wash at 14929 Western Ave. on April 2, 2015.
More than 50 volunteers, explorers and residents took part in a search for the girl, who was found about 2 1/2 hours later in an empty parking lot near 8022 Atlantic Ave. in Cudahy.
Gardena Police said they received a tip that led them to Ikeler, who was arrested a week later.
DNA linked Ikeler to the crime, and two witnesses placed him at the crime scene, according to Gardena police Lt. Steve Prendergast. He said Ikeler also owned a white Nissan Altima with tinted windows matching one that was seen near the car wash.
Ikeler testified in his own defense during the trial, telling jurors that he did not kidnap or sexually assault the girl and claiming that a drug dealer had borrowed his car.
—City News Service