A 35-year-old man convicted of molesting three girls in Lake Forest was sentenced Friday to 55 years to life in prison.
Sean Joseph Scanlan was convicted in June of three counts of lewd or lascivious acts with a minor, a count of lewd or lascivious acts with a minor younger than 14, a count of statutory rape, and a count of distribution of pornography to a minor with the intent to engage in sexual conduct, all felonies.
Scanlan was convicted of molesting one girl when she was 4 and 5 years old, another girl when she was 8 to 10 years old, and a third girl when she was 6 to 7 years old, said Deputy District Attorney Heidi Garrel.
One of the victims was a relative, one was a family friend and another was a friend of one of the victims, Garrel said. The most recent victim was molested in 2014 through 2016, and the other crimes happened in 2000 through 2004, Garrel said.
Scanlan was the babysitter of the most recent victim, starting when she was 4, Garrel said. He would watch pornography while babysitting her and showed it to the victim, who told her mother, prompting her to call police, Garrel said.
Scanlan’s attorney, Courtney Pilchman, unsuccessfully argued that the defendant’s prior attorney provided ineffective assistance in her motion for a new trial.
One of the defendant’s victims said, “These memories will always be in my head.”
She noted of the defendant that, “It is clear there is no remorse on that face… He deserves the maximum sentence.”
The mother of another victim said, “It has taken years for my daughter.. to feel safe taking a bath,” because of some of the instances of molestation.
“I can’t put into words what our daughter has gone through, what our family has gone through,” she said.
“Your honor, we will live with this forever,” she told Orange County Superior Court Judge Richard King. “It has been two and a half years of pure hell.”
She implored King to hand down a punishment that keeps the defendant locked up as long as possible.
“I can no longer live in fear that he will ever get out,” she said. “We will deal with this for the rest of our lives and he should, too.”
The victim’s father noted the community was so outraged by the allegations that he had to discourage his neighbors from lashing out. He implored King to make sure the defendant remained locked up.
“Don’t let him in 25 years to get out again when my daughter is old enough to start her own family,” he said.
Garrel argued for the maximum punishment of 70 years to life, noting that the defendant continues to deny any guilt and blamed his fate on his attorneys.
The defendant’s sister and his father said they did not doubt the allegations of the youngest victim, but argued it was a case of mistaken identity.
Scanlan’s father, Frank Scanlan, said he adopted his son when he was 2 and that he struggled with “severe allergies” and was born with fetal alcohol syndrome.
Both of the defendant’s parents were addicts, Pilchman said.
Scanlan is a “very good father, who is hands-on and involved,” Pilchman said.
Scanlan overcame learning disabilities to start his own business, his attorney said.
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