A Florida man has received life in prison after raping and impregnating a 10-year-old girl.
According to The Ledger, 26-year-old Rony Otoniel Mendez assaulted the girl a total of three times between October 2013 and November 2014, all while the 10-year-old's mother was at work.
Each time, Mendez locked the bedroom door and told the girl that if she were to speak out, they would both get in trouble. However, the young girl came forward to authorities after the last assault resulted in pregnancy. She bore a daughter in May 2015 at the age of 11. DNA tests confirmed that the child was biologically Mendez's.
Shortly after the allegations came to light in 2014, Mendez fled back to his native Guatemala. In August 2016, local authorities traveled to the country to extradite Mendez back to Florida to stand trial on capital charges.
The 26-year-old required an interpreter throughout the trial and chose not to testify on his own behalf, according to The Ledger. However, before the trial, he admitted to police officers that he assaulted the girl.
Mendez received a sentence of life in prison without parole for the three counts of sexual assault on a child under 12, as well as an additional charge of lewd and lascivious molestation for fondling the girl's breasts outside her clothes.
According to The Daily Mail, Mendez's immigration status remains unclear. If he does reside in the United States illegally, it's possible he could face deportation for committing an aggravated felony.