California Man Facing 366 Years In Prison After Being Convicted In Child Sex Case

| by Jared Keever

A California man is now facing nearly four centuries in prison after being convicted Monday on 29 counts of sexually abusing a child and possessing child pornography.

It took a jury less than 90 minutes to convict 32-year-old Luis Gilbert Sanchez, The Los Angeles Times reported.

He now faces 366 years and 8 months in prison when he goes to sentencing later this year, according to a news release from the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office cited by KTLA News.

Sanchez was found guilty of 20 counts of oral copulation with a child 10 years of age or younger, KTLA reported. He was also found guilty of one count of sodomy of a child under 10, one count of sex with a child under 10, five counts of lewd acts with a minor, and one count each of possessing matter depicting a minor engaged in sexual conduct and exhibiting harmful matter to a minor. 

Deputy District Attorney Kathy DiDonato told The Times that the case was one of the worst she has ever prosecuted. 

“You can’t articulate [what] was seen in this case,” she said. “It’s the most bizarre sexual conduct I’ve ever seen.”

Authorities believe the abuse of the girl began in 2007 when she was just 5 years old and lasted for two years. DiDonato said Sanchez documented his abuse with photographs and video recordings.

Some news sources report the girl was 6 when the abuse began. 

DiDonato said Sanchez abused the girl when her mother was out of the home. Sanchez’s relationship to the girl has not been disclosed in order to protect the girl’s identity, according to KTLA. 

The abuse was discovered in February 2009 when the mother came home early one day and found Sanchez and her daughter acting strangely, The San Bernardino Sun reported. The girl reportedly told her mom that Sanchez had been molesting her for years.

The mother took the girl and her sibling to the children’s grandparents’ home and called police. 

Sanchez fled and was arrested days later, in March. His booking photo shows him with bruises and cuts on his face. Police said he resisted arrest and was pepper sprayed and punched during the arrest, according to The Times. 

His victim testified at his trial last week. 

“She was just one day shy of her 14th birthday when she testified,” DiDonato told The Sun. “She is just a really, really bright girl who doesn’t let this define who she is. She is very resilient.”

Sentencing for Sanchez is scheduled for Sept. 22. 

Sources: The Los Angeles Times, KTLA News, The San Bernardino Sun 

Photo credit: Police photo via KTLA News