A “church-going, God-fearing” 59-year-old convicted sex offender was sentenced Friday to 100 years to life in prison for molesting two young cousins and the sister of one of the boys in and around a Fullerton church.
Carlos Antonio Chavez of Anaheim, who was given credit for serving 1,130 days in custody, was convicted Feb. 19 of three felony counts of lewd acts with a child younger than 14.
Orange County Superior Court Judge Gary Paer cited Chavez’s past criminal history as a sex offender in handing down his sentence and ordering him to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
Deputy District Attorney Rebecca Reed told the jury that although many know the defendant as a “church-going, God-fearing man,” he “has been living a double life for a very long time.”
Jurors heard testimony from the three victims, as well as a 21-year-old woman who Chavez was convicted of molesting in a McDonald’s restroom in 2001 in Orange County.
“That McDonald’s incident is an aggravating factor,” Paer said at the sentencing hearing. “He’s been molesting young children for many, many years and the years are consecutive.”
In 2012, Chavez attempted to solicit an undercover officer for sex in a public restroom, the judge noted.
In 1984, he exposed himself to a “young kid” in Santiago Park in Santa Ana, Paer said.
“You definitely have a problem with little children,” Paer told Chavez to explain the lengthy sentence.
Referring to the molestation in the McDonald’s restroom, he said, “It’s obvious to the court you didn’t learn from that experience.”
Paer said he viewed the sentence as a way to keep the defendant away from children.
“I’m very concerned for the children in the community,” the judge said. “This is not a one-time thing… You have a documented history of violating little children.”
A sister and brother, when they were 12 and 14 years old, told their father in 2014 that Chavez molested them at their church, Iglesia de Dios Pentacostal, Reed said. It came up in conversation when they said they had seen Chavez at the church recently and it angered them, she said.
The siblings said the molestations happened between 2004 and 2007.
The boy said when he was 5, Chavez offered him candy and chips one day at church, Reed said. The two went to a neighboring liquor store to get the snacks and when they arrived, he took the boy into the bathroom and sexually assaulted him, the prosecutor said.
As the boy was explaining what happened to his father, his sister said, “You know what? He touched me too,” Reed said.
During the police investigation, it came to light that Chavez had also molested their cousin, she said.
That victim was reluctant to cooperate with authorities but came around a few years later, Reed said. The boy said that Chavez took him when he was 5 years old into a bathroom at the church, under the guise of helping him get something off a high shelf, and then molested him, Reed said.