A 42-year-old man Saturday will begin serving a sentence of 134 years to life in prison for sexually assaulting two innocent little girls in Santa Ana, one who was drugged and another who was attacked on the street while walking with a friend.
Alberto Matt Mendoza molested a 10-year-old girl on Jan. 26, 2013, who was a known family friend, according to prosecutors.
Mendoza claimed he was taking the girl to a party of a relative because she received good grades, but instead he took her to Santiago Park, where she was drugged and he fondled her, investigators alleged in court papers. The defendant also took her to the movies at Main Place Mall, investigators said.
The second victim was attacked on Sept. 22, 2007. Mendoza, armed with a kitchen knife, allegedly followed the girl, tackled her and sexually assaulted her, Deputy District Attorney Bryan Clavecilla said in his opening statement.
The victim was walking with her friend after getting food at Carl’s Jr., Clavecilla said.
“There’s a strange man walking behind them,” the prosecutor told jurors. “They stop to let the man go ahead and he says, `No, I’m fine,’ and they continued to walk.
“At some point during the walk home this man grabs her by the arm, pulls down her pants, gets on top of her and (is) fighting her.”
The victim stabbed Mendoza with a pocket knife during the struggle, prompting him to run away, Clavecilla said. Police found the knife with blood on it, tested it and found that the defendant’s DNA was on it, Clavecilla said.
Mendoza was convicted Jan. 6 of four counts of lewd acts with a minor younger than 14, one count of kidnapping for child molesting and one count of sexual penetration by a foreign object, all felonies.
Jurors also found true sentencing enhancements for kidnapping to commit sex offenses on a victim younger than 14.
Mendoza was sentenced Friday.