"You are a despicable human being," Orange County Superior Court Judge Steven Bromberg said Friday as he sentenced a 37-year-old man to 46 years to life in state prison.
Didn't have time to get to this one last week, but Gonzalo Salazar received Bromberg's harsh words and sentence for breaking into the bedroom of a 15-year-old relative in 2008 and raping and trying to strangle her.
The Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA) sentencing statement that includes the judge's quotes also notes that Salazar still denies the crimes and claims the prison term is unfair.
He was staying in the Santa Ana home of several extended family members when the 15-year-old girl went to her room to sleep the night of Aug. 15, 2008, as everyone else remained in the living room watching television.
Prosecutors convinced the jury that Salazar then went to his own bedroom, climbed out of his window to avoid detection and then climbed back into the home through the girl's bedroom window. He then climbed on top of her, removed her clothes and, when she began to yell, strangled her so severely she lost consciousness.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
That's when he raped and orally copulated before fleeing back out the window. The girl eventually woke, freaked out over what had happen and went screaming out of her bedroom door. She'd suffered visible injuries to her face, eyes, and neck--including bruising and broken blood vessels--and other injuries consistent with being raped, according to the OCDA.
As frantic family members called 9-1-1, Salazar fled on foot and eventually found a phone he used to call a male transvestite whom he'd met a week earlier. That man picked up Salazar and they had sex before Salazar was taken against his wishes back to the Santa Ana home instead of Fountain Valley as requested.
Waiting for Salazar were Santa Ana police officers, who later determined his DNA matched samples found on the girl. A jury on May 24 convicted Salazar of one felony count each of forcible rape, forcible oral copulation, aggravated assaulted, assault with the intent to commit a sexual offense, and assault with the intent to commit a sexual offense during the commission of first degree burglary. The jury found true the sentencing enhancements for forcible rape in the commission of burglary and causing great bodily injury in the commission of a sexual assault.