A 44-year-old Orange County, California, babysitter accused of repeatedly molesting a girl under the age of 10 has been sentenced to 16 years in state prison.
In 2012, Leticia Garcia was convicted of continuous sexual abuse of a child (a felony) and sentenced to 16 years in prison. The victim, a then 28-year-old woman, testified at the trial that, for nearly every day for almost four years beginning when she was 6 years old, Garcia touched and kissed her, The Orange County Register reported.
In 2014, an appeals court threw out Garcia’s conviction because the state prosecutor was found to have prejudiced the jury by repeatedly suggesting the defendant was a lesbian as a "motive" for molesting the child.
"(She is) attracted to women," the prosecutor, Deputy District Attorney Whitney Bokosky, said during the trial. "OK? She has the motive. I’m not saying that everyone who’s attracted to women is going to attack children or going to molest children, but we know that she is attracted to females, and (the accuser) is a female child."
Garcia had a second trial in February and was found guilty of one felony count of continued sexual abuse of a child, reports KTLA 5.
Resentencing in Garcia’s case took place Friday and she was given 16 years in state prison, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
The victim spoke at the sentencing hearing on Friday.
“It was not easy to continue my life after what she did to me,” the victim said in court. “But I chose to be a better person, to not become a child molester myself or an addict or alcoholic. Instead, I’m a good person who cares for people.”
Photo Source: KTLA 5