A 32-year-old man was sentenced Friday to 30 years to life in prison for sexually assaulting two underage relatives over a six-year period in locations in Rancho Santa Margarita, Irvine, Corona and Ontario.
Deputy District Attorney Michael Carroll had argued for the maximum sentence of 150 years to life in prison for Roger Seymour Pena.
“The maximum sentence is justified and warranted based on the nature of the sex acts, the ongoing violations of the victims, the forceful nature of the acts against Jane Doe 2, and the severity of the impact his actions are continuing to have on both victims,” Carroll said in court papers submitted prior to sentencing. The prosecutor added that both victims are “still grappling with what the defendant forced them to endure.”
Pena was convicted Oct. 4 of eight counts of lewd or lascivious acts with a minor younger than 14 and one count each of aggravated sexual assault of a child younger than 14 and aggravated sexual assault of a child with a foreign object. Jurors also found true a sentencing enhancement allegation of multiple victims.
He was given credit for 1,258 days spent in jail awaiting trial.
Pena was seven years older than one of his victims, who was 11 at the time of the first instances of molestation in October 2005, Carroll said. The youngster was living in Ecuador at the time and Pena was visiting the country where he had lived until 1984, the prosecutor said.
The molestation continue after the victim’s family moved to Southern California in January 2006, Carroll said, and the two families were living in the same home, first in Ontario and then in Corona.
The victim believed she was in a “boyfriend-girlfriend relationship” but “broke it off” before her senior year in high school — she was living in Rancho Santa Margarita by then — when “she realized it was weird and not OK,” Carroll said.
The other victim was sexually assaulted in the summer of 2012 during a sleepover at another family member’s home in Irvine, the prosecutor said. She kept the attack to herself until 2015, when she confessed what happened to her boyfriend, whom she later married, he said.
At that point, she approached the other victim because she had long heard rumors about the inappropriate relationship that family member may have had with the defendant, Carroll said. The two went to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department in Rancho Santa Margarita in January 2016.
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