A 43-year-old man was sentenced to 75 years to life in prison Friday for sexually assaulting two girls over a period of several years in Santa Ana, starting when they were 6 and 8 years old.
Alfredo Mendozaheredia was convicted Oct. 26 of five counts of forcible lewd acts on a child, three counts of lewd acts with a minor younger than 14, and one count each of aggravated sexual assault of a child and attempted lewd act on a child younger than 14, all felonies. Jurors also found true sentencing enhancements for multiple victims.
The defendant met the girls when he befriended three families all living together in a house, and moved in with them, according to Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna.
One of the girls, who said she was sexually assaulted starting in 2011 when she was 6 and continuing until she was 11, told police he would pick her up at school and take her various places, Bertagna said.
The other girl said that he began molesting her when she was 8 and continued until she was 13, on “almost a nightly basis,” Bertagna said.
The defendant also had a pending child abuse and endangerment case dating back to May 2013. He agreed to plead guilty, but then tried to withdraw his plea, claiming he was not informed he might be deported for a conviction on the misdemeanor, court records show.
When he failed to show up in court in that case, an arrest warrant was issued on Sept. 24, 2014, and he was arrested on that warrant on May 28, 2017, according to court records.