An Anaheim man was sentenced Friday to 25 years to life in state prison for sneaking into a home in Orange and sexually assaulting a 9-year-old girl and her 15-year-old sister.

Ernesto Parraguirre. Photo via Orange County District Attorney’s Office
Both sisters made victim impact statements before Orange County Superior Court Judge Cheri Pham handed down Ernesto Parraguirre’s sentence.

One of them told the judge: “After the incident, I had difficulty sleeping at night. It took awhile to sleep well and it wasn’t until my mom bought a dog for me for therapy.”

Her sister said that after she was molested, she had trouble going out in public and has recurring nightmares.

“I would be scared something would happen again,” she said. “I couldn’t watch TV and see a crime against a female because it would remind me of what happened to me.”

Pham noted that Parraguirre, 27, had a lengthy criminal record dating back to when he was a juvenile, with mostly misdemeanor crimes early on that eventually increased in seriousness.

The defendant was given 2,643 days of credit for time served behind bars awaiting trial. The judge denied his request to have his attorney dismissed from the case.

Parraguirre was convicted Nov. 18 of felony charges of digital penetration of a child 10 years or younger, lewd acts on a minor, criminal threats, burglary and assault with intent to commit a sex offense.

Deputy District Attorney Kristin Bracic said Parraguirre removed a screen and climbed through a bedroom window about 5 a.m. on Sept. 16, 2009.

He apparently had previously seen the 15-year-old girl and was so attracted to her he decided to sneak into her bedroom, but he got into the wrong bed and sexually assaulted the 9-year-old girl, the prosecutor said.

The 9-year-old girl woke up and began to cry, waking her older sister, Bracic said. That prompted Parraguirre to put his hands around the teen’s neck and threaten to kill her if she told anyone, the prosecutor said.

The defendant then put one hand on her stomach and another on her thigh and molested her, Bracic said.

He fled to Mexico following the attack, but surrendered to authorities in February 2010.

Parraguirre’s attorney, Raul Ramirez, argued authorities got the wrong suspect. But Bracic said the defendant’s fingerprint was on a window screen, and the 15-year-old girl identified him in a photo lineup.

The victims testified they had never seen Parraguirre before, Bracic said.

— City News Service

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