A Torrance man was sentenced this week to 55 years to life in prison for the kidnapping and sexual assault of a 2-year-old girl in 2015.
Michael David Ikeler, 38, was found guilty by a jury on Jan. 27 of a lewd act on a child under the age of 14 with a special allegation that the crime was committed during the course of a kidnapping and two counts of sexual penetration of a child under age 10, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.
Ikeler also was ordered to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, prosecutors said.
On April 2, 2015, the mother of the toddler was washing her vehicle at a car wash on Western Avenue while her two daughters waited outside the car.
The older daughter told her mother that the 2-year-old girl had disappeared, according to court testimony. The victim was found naked, hours later sitting on the ground by herself near a dumpster at a Cudahy restaurant parking lot, the prosecutor said.
Before she was found, police had launched a countywide search for the girl. Using surveillance footage, police determined the suspect drove a white Nissan Altima. Authorities received a tip days later that led to Ikeler.
The Daily Breeze reported that the mother, in a letter read in court Wednesday, said there was no excuse for "what my child has suffered at the hands of this man."
"This is a senseless act. ... An innocent child has been affected and has been robbed of her peace of mind," the letter continued. "This has affected not only my child and I, but all of my family. Sometimes, we only feel safe at home and cannot be free. We are constantly reliving a nightmare."