California Man Sentenced To 158 Years In Prison For Sexually Abusing His Three Nieces

| by Brendan Kelly

A 56-year-old Southern California man was sentenced to 158 years and eight months in state prison Friday for repeatedly molesting his three nieces.

In June, Daniel Cortez Bernal was convicted of two counts of forcible oral copulation and seven counts of lewd acts with a child for attacks on one of his nieces, one count of a lewd act with a child for fondling another niece, and one count of continuous sexual abuse of a child for a third niece, according to the San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office.

Bernal reportedly sexually assaulted one niece two to three times per week from 2002 to 2007, when the girl was ages 6 to 11 and living with Bernal. According to court testimony, the family moved to Hesperia in 2007 and the assaults continued until the girl was 13, in 2009.

An investigation by San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies began in 2011 after the victim told school officials about the abuse.

Bernal fled when a patrol deputy tried to arrest him, which lead authorities on a pursuit that ended when he ran off the road. He was arrested when he tried to jump off of an overpass.

His two other nieces came forward to speak out about the abuse they received from Bernal after his arrest.

Deputy District Attorney David Foy said that the victims are very pleased with Bernal's sentence.

Sources: KTLA, San Luis Obispo Tribune

Photo Credit: KTLA