A jury in Santa Ana Wednesday afternoon found David Elifar Verduzco guilty of molesting a 12-year-old girl who was taking piano lessons from him at Agape House of Prayer in Anaheim and of sexually assaulting the 9-year-old daughter of churchgoers inside her Tustin home.
Verduzco, a Santa Ana resident who was a member of Agape's "worship team," now faces up to 30 years to life in state prison and mandatory lifetime sex offender registration at his scheduled Oct. 17 sentencing.
He flirted with the 12-year-old girl, kissed her on the cheek and placed his hand on her thigh while giving her piano lessons. Between January and September of 2011, he used his foot to slip his cell phone under her and shoot up-skirt videos.
The girl's mother discovered her daughter exchanging late night text messages with Verduzco, who wrote things like "You're beautiful" and "I love you." The mom then informed the church pastor, who kicked Verduzco out of the church.
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Another Agape follower alerted the 9-year-old's family about what happened to Verduzco, who they called "Uncle David" because he had been so close to them. The girl went on to report that while babysitting her in her family's Tustin home on Aug. 28, 2011, Uncle David offered her money and, when she refused, reached under her nightgown and used his fingers to sexually assault her. The girl objected, and Verduzco threatened her not to tell anyone on the way out of the home.
Verduzco's defense attorney had conceded his 35-year-old client was attracted to the older girl and guilty of the charges involving her but not of the counts involving the younger child. He also wanted jurors to know the two girls were friends.
Whatever, dude, the jury convicted Verduzco sexual penetration of a child 10 years or younger and three counts of lewd or lascivious acts with a minor, all felonies, and two misdemeanor counts each of child annoyance and using a concealed device to record another without their consent. They also found true sentencing enhancements for substantial sexual conduct and multiple victims.