One of San Bernardino County's 'worst' child sex cases ends with life sentence

A Victorville man was ordered to spend the rest of his life behind bars Tuesday for one of the worst cases of child sexual abuse a San Bernardino County prosecutor said she’d ever seen.

Luis Gilbert Sanchez, 32, was sentenced to 366 years and eight months in prison for the years-long abuse of a girl beginning when she was 5 years old.

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.

Sanchez’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, Sanchez admitted to photographing and recording the abuse and told investigators he liked “messy sex,” DiDonato told The Times in an interview last month.

Sanchez was convicted of 29 various types of child sexual assault charges on a child under age 10.

“I’ve done a lot of terrible cases. This was one of the worst cases I’ve prosecuted,” DiDonato said after his conviction. “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 told her what had happened, DiDonato said.

The mother immediately grabbed her daughter and the girl’s sister and drove to 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.

For breaking California news, follow @JosephSerna.

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