Society

Convicted Rapist Gets 1,503 Years In Prison

| by David Bonner

A California man was sentenced Oct. 21 to the longest prison sentence in the history of the Fresno Superior Court.

Fresno resident Rene Lopez, 41, received 1,503 years in prison for raping his teenage daughter over a four-year period, reports The Fresno Bee. Judge Edward Sarkisian Jr. declared Lopez a “serious danger to society,” noting that he had never shown remorse for his crime.

According to prosecutor Nicole Galstan, Lopez treated his daughter as “a piece of property,” allowing her to also be sexually abused by a family friend. The daughter was allegedly raped two to three times a week from May 2009 to May 2013, Galstan said. When Lopez got her pregnant, he paid for an abortion, the judge added, also noting that even after she moved out of his house, he would stalk her and leave love songs on her message machine.

Finally, in November 2013 she called the police, and her father was arrested. In September, a jury found him guilty of 186 felony counts of sexual assault, including dozens of counts of rape of a minor.

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“When my father abused me, I was young. I had no power, no voice. I was defenseless,” testified the 23-year-old victim.

“He ruined her teenage years and made her feel like it was her fault,” Galstan added. He sought the maximum sentence.

Ironically, Lopez turned down two plea deals, which could have resulted in as few as 13 years in prison -- 22 years at most. However, he declined both offers, insisting that he should be released from jail for time already served, reports CBS News.

Lopez did not testify on his own behalf, but he did write a letter to the judge, accusing his daughter of lying on the witness stand, and claiming that he did not receive a fair trial. The judge disagreed, asserting that the trial was fair and that the evidence against Lopez was overwhelming.

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In addition to the victim’s testimony, jurors were read entries from her diary which chronicled the long history of abuse by her father, Galstan said.

As a result of his conviction, Lopez will also have to register as a sex offender.

Sources: The Fresno Bee, CBS News / Photo credit: Bob Jagendorf/Flickr

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