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Guard Gets 6 Years for Molesting Daughter

A Van Nuys security guard who pleaded guilty last month to forcibly raping and molesting his 15-year-old daughter was sentenced in San Fernando Superior Court on Tuesday to six years in state prison.

Judge Robert D. Fratianne said at the sentencing that he would “reluctantly” accept the terms of a plea bargain for the man, Manuel Angel Lopez, 57, who prosecutors said raped his daughter repeatedly over a seven-year period. Lopez, who lived in Glendale at the time of his arrest, pleaded guilty to two of 12 counts filed against him in return for a guarantee of the six-year sentence.

“Mr. Lopez, I wish I could give you 600 years instead of six,” Fratianne said. “I hope that this commitment is going to prevent you from preying on young girls.”

Deputy Dist. Atty. Kenneth Loveman said the plea bargain was struck to avoid forcing the girl to testify.

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According to a probation report, Lopez denied ever touching his daughter and speculated that she “made up these lies” because he recently had forced her to quit a job. He described himself as a “model father.”

But the report said that Lopez’s wife walked in on him as he was raping their daughter in 1980. Lopez pleaded with the woman to forgive him, promising that it would not happen again, the report said.

The report said that Lopez was arrested in New York 15 years ago on suspicion of molesting his then 12-year-old daughter from an earlier marriage. Lopez’s ex-wife told California probation officials that he fled that state and was never prosecuted for those alleged molestations, the report said.

Lopez was arrested two months ago after his daughter told her half-sister about the molestations, which she said did not stop after her mother witnessed the assault in 1980, according to the report. He worked for Valley Patrol, a Van Nuys-based security firm, until the arrest, the report said.

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