A 59-year-old man was convicted Wednesday of attacking two girls in Santa Ana who were related to a friend.
Nicandro Sanchez Garcia was helping his friend move March 14, 2019, from Westminster to Santa Ana when one of the girls, who was a week away from her fourth birthday, told her relative during a bathroom break that she had pain from Garcia touching her on her private parts, according to a trial brief filed by Orange County prosecutors.
The girl’s relative immediately called police. Garcia allegedly told police he had rubbed the girl’s groin while they were waiting in his car during the move, prosecutors said.
When police questioned the other victim she said she didn’t step forward sooner because she didn’t think anyone would believe her, prosecutors said.
She told police Garcia had molested her multiple times when her family lived in Santa Ana, starting nine years before the day of their move and as recently as five months before the encounter with police, prosecutors said.
Garcia told police that any touching of the other girl was “unintentional,” prosecutors said.
Garcia was convicted of two counts of lewd or lascivious acts with a minor younger than 14 and a lewd act on a child 14 or 15, all felonies, as well as a misdemeanor count of battery.
Jurors acquitted him of a felony count of lewd or lascivious acts with a minor younger than 14 and instead of convicting him of sexual penetration of a child 10 years or younger they convicted him of misdemeanor battery.
Garcia was scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 21.