Former Costa Mesa man sentenced in Florida

A former Costa Mesa resident who repeatedly raped a young girl he bought in Vietnam will serve what could be the rest of his life behind bars.

A federal court in Florida on Friday sentenced George Joseph England, 66, to 30 years in prison. England was convicted in January of transporting a minor for sexual purposes from Asia to California in 1974, and from California to Florida in 1977.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, England bought the girl — who was 3 or 4 years old at the time — from her mother in Vietnam, and brought her back with him to the United States.

For years, he passed the girl off as his adopted daughter. He took her along as he moved around Asia and then to California, where he eventually settled in Costa Mesa.

The two lived in Costa Mesa for three years, during which time England sexually assaulted the girl, sometimes on a near-daily basis. He also taught her not to trust the police.

In the '70s, England was convicted of molesting three of the girl's friends. He watched the young girls undress and took nude photos of them. After his conviction, he fled to Florida, taking the girl with him and giving himself a new, stolen identity.

The girl became pregnant for the first time at age 13 and gave birth to that child. Prosecutors said she was impregnated multiple times by England after that, and he told her to abort the pregnancies.

She did not escape until she was 18. In 2004, the woman — now in her early 40s, married and living in Florida — told the FBI her story.

In 2006, England was extradited to California from Florida to face the child molestation charges that he had fled from in the 1970s. In March, federal prosecutors extradited him back to Florida to face charges of enticement of a minor and transportation of a minor for the purpose of having the minor engage in sexual acts.

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