|For Immediate Release
Case # 06HF0342
June 27, 2008
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
MAN SENTENCED TO 12 YEARS FOR MOLESTING YOUNG FEMALE RELATIVE WHEN SHE WAS
5 TO 15 YEARS OLD
SANTA ANA – A man was sentenced today to 12 years in state prison for molesting a female relative when she was 5 to 15 years old. Jerry Espada, 46, formerly of Dana Point, pleaded guilty on May 9, 2008, to one felony count of substantial sexual conduct on a child under 14.
Between April 15, 1990 and April 14, 2000, Espada sexually assaulted a female relative, Jane Doe, when she was between the ages 5 and 15 years old while he was living with her mother. The defendant molested the victim by engaging in oral copulation and mutual masturbation when the mother was not home or when he was alone in his car with Jane Doe. The victim did not immediately report the sexual assault, but reported the molestation to a counselor in 2006 after Espada began spending time with Jane Doe’s younger sister out of fear that he would also victimize her sister.
Espada attended every court hearing for the molestation charges, but failed to appear at his jury trial on June 25, 2007. The defendant fled the country to avoid prosecution. On September 6, 2007, Espada was arrested on the Orange County warrant as he attempted to pass through customs after arriving at the airport in Miami on a flight from Bolivia. The Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement had placed an immigration hold on the defendant for his crimes in Orange County.
Deputy District Attorney Nicole Nicholson of the Sexual Assault Unit prosecuted the case.