Photo via Pixabay
Photo via Pixabay

A 40-year-old Santa Ana man was acquitted Tuesday of molesting the two daughters of his former girlfriend.

Ignacio Gaytan Hernandez broke down and cried as the verdicts were read, according to his attorney, Sara Ross. Jurors deliberated about four hours before rendering the decision.

The girls, ages 11 and 14, accused their mother’s boyfriend of molesting them when they were 9 and 11 years old, Ross said.

The girls “had credibility issues and there was a lot of doubt,” the defense attorney said. “They had lied before — they had made false accusations before. And their statements were pretty inconsistent.”

Hernandez, ironically, tried to get Ross removed from the case just as it was about to go to trial, but the judge would not let him.

“He was very, very anxious and worried and not comfortable with the setting,” she said. “I just think it was really heart-wrenching for him because he really cared for them (the girls). And he was never arrested before.”

The prosecutor on the case, Lesley Young, could not be reached for comment.

Hernandez would have faced 90 years to life in prison had he been convicted. The defendant, who had been behind bars since his mid-October arrest, pushed for a trial as quickly as possible, Ross said.

–City News Service

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