See the update at the end of this post on Bryan William Anast being formally sentenced to 55 years in prison and four victim impact statements being made to the court, including two from girls he molested.
ORIGINAL POST, AUG. 11, 1:36 P.M.: Moments before jury selection in Westminster in the trial of Bryan William Anast, the former Disneyland machinist pleaded guilty to molesting four girls, three of whom were family members.
Sentencing was scheduled for Friday to give victims time to decide if they want to deliver impact statements to the court, but the plea came as a result of a deal that will have 46-year-old Anast receiving 55 years and four months in state prison and having to do at least 85 percent of that time behind bars, according to Deputy District Attorney Bobby Taghavi.
Anast will also have to register as a sex offender for life, Taghavi told City News Service. The maximum penalty announced against the Corona resident after charges from the four cases were revealed was 63 years to life in state prison.
A woman in her 20s came forward in May 2013 to tell the Orange County Sheriff's Department that Anast sexually assaulted her starting when she was 11 years old and between Nov. 2, 1998, and Nov. 1, 1999, in Yosemite, Garden Grove and Stanton.
He was arrested at Disneyland, where he worked as a machinist fixing rides, and a subsequent search of his home produced several videos of child pornography on a computer data storage device he owned, authorities said at the time.
But worse for Anast was the publicity from his case prompted the other girls to come forward, including at least one who said she was sexually assaulted by Anast for months beginning when she was 7. Indeed, the molestations of most of the girls began when they were between 7 and 9. The lone girl who was not a family member was the daughter of a family friend.
Last year, Disney resort in Anaheim issued a statement informing Anast was no longer an employee and noted none of the crimes happened at the theme parks.
Anast pleaded guilty today to six counts of lewd acts by duress on a child younger than 14 and one count each of continuous sexual conduct, possession of child pornography and using a minor for sex acts, all felonies.
UPDATE, AUG. 15, 5:08 P.M.: As expected, Bryan William Anast was formally sentenced to 55 years in prison today.
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Sentencing in Westminster was delayed until today to give the victims time to prepare a statement to the judge, and four were made, including two from girls the ex-Disneyland machinist had molested.
"It was pretty emotional,'' Deputy District Attorney Taghavi told City News Service. "(The victims') big concern was for (Anast) not to be able to do this to anyone else."
The prosecutor added that the girls also spoke of how their trust was broken by Anast, whose victims ranged in age from 7 to 11 years when the sexual assaults began.