A California man who was convicted of repeatedly sexually assaulting a young male relative was sentenced to at least 106 years in prison on Aug. 26.
Mario Hernandez, 59, was found guilty in June of three counts of sodomy with a child 10 or younger, one count of oral copulation with a child 10 or younger and one count of continuous sexual abuse of a child, according to KTLA.
"This defendant will never again hurt a child. The victim has been returned to the custody of his father and stepmother and is doing well," Deputy District Attorney Karen Schmauss said, according to KNBC.
Hernandez began abusing the victim when the latter was only 3 years old. Hernandez and his wife were the child's legal guardians at the time.
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Hernandez would reportedly deny the child food and privileges unless he agreed to engage in sex acts with Hernandez.
"He would also refuse to sign the boy's school planner if he did not cooperate," Schmauss said. "As the victim grew older, Hernandez threatened harm to the boy and his brother if they told anyone."
The abuse finally came to an end when the victim, then 10 years old, talked about it with friends at school.
"The crimes showed a high degree of cruelty, viciousness and callousness," Judge Stanford Reichert stated, according to KTLA.
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During the trial, a comfort dog was employed to help the victim and his brother as they gave their testimonies, KNBC reports.