A 46-year-old man who molested
two young sisters and a friend of his daughter in his Mission Viejo home was sentenced today to
120 years to life in prison.
Omar Alirio Guzman was convicted in July of eight felony counts of lewd acts with a minor.
Public defender Michael Morrison insisted during the trial that the girls had given contradictory statements to various investigators. Today, he advocated for a 15 years to life sentence, arguing that the maximum punishment doled out by Orange County Superior Court W. Michael Hayes far surpassed what convicted killers get.
“Fifteen years to life is more than sufficient,” Morrison said. “(The
maximum sentence) is more than what a person convicted of murder gets, and I don't think these touchings are equal to murder.”
The judge, however, said, Guzman was “predatory,” and noted the “repeated attacks against some victims over a period of time.”
Hayes also ordered Guzman to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
The sentence pleased Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Walker.
“I'm very happy that these families can start their weekend knowing that this man will never get out and harm another child,” Walker said after the hearing.
The prosecutor said one of the sisters -- who were 9 and 10 years old at the time -- was inspired by a TV show the family was watching about a father who abused a girl to tell her mother what had happened to her.
The girl told her mother that Guzman had been molesting her for about a year, but she had been too scared to tell anyone because she was under the impression he was in the Army and would retaliate against the family if she revealed anything, Walker said.
The girl's sister then told her mother that the defendant had molested her about 10 times, Walker said.
Guzman was a “very close” neighbor of the victims and would socialize often with their parents, Walker said. The molestations would usually happen in the defendant's home when the girls would come over to play with Guzman's daughter, the prosecutor said.
The molestations would happen out of sight of Guzman's daughter and wife, sometimes when she was napping, Walker said.
After investigators were alerted, another girl who was a friend of Guzman's daughter came forward to say that she, too, had been victimized, Walker said.
Guzman had been suspected of molesting another girl in 1995, but he wasn't prosecuted in that case because the statute of limitations had lapsed.
--City News Service