A jury today found Matthew Castaneda, an Anaheim 35-year-old who wrestled professionally under the name "Chippy Sanchez," guilty of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl he met on MySpace. Castaneda, who was on parole for a 2007 prior conviction for felony domestic violence and violating a restraining order, could get 24 years to life in state prison at his June 22 sentencing hearing.
The then-12-year-old girl flagged down a uniformed Anaheim Police Civilian Traffic Controller near Harbor Boulevard and Katella Avenue the evening of Feb. 17, 2010, and said she wanted to go home.
It turned out she had been reported missing out of Santa Ana, where a man who met her on MySpace in November 2009 met her at South Coast Plaza, rode with her on a bus to Anaheim, visited two parks together, took her to Zaby's Motor Lodge at Harbor and Katella and sexually assaulted her in one of the rooms. He also tried by force to get her to blow him.
When he left after about a half hour, she went outside and alerted the traffic officer. With help from MySpace, Anaheim police identified their suspect as Castaneda, who was arrested at a warehouse in the 2000 block of Placentia Avenue in Costa Mesa.
Once it was discovered Castaneda had been a frequent guest of the motel, a description and multiple photos of him were released in case there were other victims.
It was later discovered he had wrestled with World Power Wrestling as Chippy Sanchez, the first name referring to his chipped front tooth and scrappy way he grappled.
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!
Meanwhile, before a jury had even convened, the case was mentioned by Assemblyman Jose Solorio (D-Santa Ana) as he co-sponsored legislation that would prevent sexual predators from joining social networks in California.
The jury today found Castaneda guilty of felony aggravated sexual assault of a child and felony lewd acts on a child under 14, and found true a sentencing enhancement for a prison prior. The jury deadlocked on aggravated sexual assault of a child under 14 and attempted aggravated assault of a child under 14.
He will have to register as a sex offender for life.