Eight years after Daniel Sanchez became known as the "Long Beach Freeway Rapist" for his calculated, brutal rapes against mostly teen-aged women along the 710 freeway, he was sentenced to 615 years and nine life sentences in prison.
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Sanchez refused to go into court yesterday morning to face his victims and to hear his sentencing, according to the LA DA's office. Why this kind of sentencing is never handed down to the sexual predators who crawl through the ranks of the Catholic Church unscathed, we'll never know. Then again, Sanchez was never blessed with a coterie of high-ranking enablers. Deputy District Attorney Patricia Horikawa described Sanchez as "the ultimate definition" of a violent sexual predator while Sanchez's mom sat in a corner of the courtroom and wept.
Convicted Feb. 25 of nearly 60 felony counts involving 8 victims (12 victims had originally come forward with allegations, and they were between 11 and 40 years old), Sanchez was known for carefully watching and stalking his victims before pouncing and brutally assaulting them on the sidewalks or in their homes near the 710 freeway in Long Beach, Compton, Lynwood, Bell and Bell Gardens between 2001 and 2003. Sanchez was caught when a DNA sample he gave up voluntarily during a burglary arrest in 2003 was analyzed in 2004 and found to match the DNA contained in the rape kits of his victims.
Now if only the DA could get to the hundreds of other rape cases that are stalled for prosecution because of the hundreds of languishing DNA rape kits that the LAPD and LA Sheriff's department are sitting on.