|For Immediate Release
Case # 08NF1325
April 15, 2011
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
80-YEAR-OLD MAN SENTENCED TO 15 YEARS TO LIFE IN PRISON FOR MOLESTING FIVE FEMALE RELATIVES AGES 5 TO 11 YEARS OLD
FULLERTON – An 80-year-old man was sentenced today to 15 years to life in state prison for sexually assaulting five female relatives over the span of more than a decade beginning when they were 5 to 11 years old. Claude Lee Coker, La Palma, was found guilty by a jury Nov. 22, 2011, of 12 felony counts of lewd acts on a child under 14 with sentence enhancement allegations for lewd acts of multiple victims.
For over a decade beginning in 1996, Coker sexually assaulted five young female relatives. The victims ranged in age from 5 to 11 years old when Coker began molesting them. In each case, the defendant rubbed the victim’s chest and vagina for his own sexual gratification while she was sitting on his lap or he was tucking her in to bed. The sexual touching occurred both over and under the victims’ clothing.
The sexual assaults against each of the victims went unreported until 2008, when a 10-year-old victim disclosed to her mother that she had been molested by Coker. When questioned by their parents, four other female victims disclosed that they had also been sexually assaulted.
During the jury trial, Coker testified and denied any sexual touching of his female relatives. All five of the victims also testified. The eldest of the victims, Jane Doe #5, now in her teens, described feeling tremendous guilt for not reporting that she had been molested sooner because four other female relatives were sexually assaulted after her.
Deputy District Attorney Mark Birney of the Sexual Assault Unit prosecuted this case.