In the more than 10 years that San Bernardino County prosecutor Kathy DiDonato has prosecuted family sex and violence cases, she’d never had one like this.
The Victorville man’s crimes against the girl were meticulously planned, carried out and covered up so the girl’s mother could never find out.
After his arrest, he admitted to photographing and recording the abuse and told investigators he liked “messy sex,” DiDonato recalled Tuesday.
It took a jury less than 90 minutes on Monday to convict Luis Gilbert Sanchez, 32, of 29 counts of child sexual assault on a child under age 10. He faces more than 366 years in prison at his sentencing next month.
“I’ve done a lot of terrible cases. This was one of the worst cases I’ve prosecuted,” DiDonato told The Times. “You can’t articulate [what] was seen in this case. It’s the most bizarre sexual conduct I’ve ever seen.”
Authorities say that for two years starting in 2007, when the girl was just 5 years old, Sanchez abused the girl while the mother was away from the home. The abuse was only discovered when the mother came home early, interrupting Sanchez, and the girl explained what had happened, DiDonato said.
The mother immediately grabbed her daughter and the girl’s sister and drove to a her parents' home, where she called police.
Sanchez, meanwhile, fled. DiDonato said he repainted his truck and lived out of the vehicle for a couple of weeks until he was tracked down to his grandparents’ house. Police said he resisted arrest and was punched and pepper sprayed.
Sanchez is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 22.
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