See the update at the end of this post on a jury finding the defendant guilty Wednesday.
ORIGINAL POST, FEB. 6, 8 A.M.: A 58-year-old Santa Ana man faces trial today on accusations he sexually abused a female relative for nine years and impregnated her at the age of 11.
Mariano Antonio Castro has a maximum sentence of 80 years to life in state prison hanging over his head if he is convicted.
Between when the relative was age 8 in October 2000 through age 17 in October 2008, Castro allegedly assaulted her sexually on a regular basis, not even stopping the oral copulation and sexual intercourse after she delivered a baby girl at 12.
The girl kept the baby and never reported the ongoing sexual abuse until 2011, when she confided in her pastor at a new church. The pastor encouraged her to contact the Santa Ana Police Department, which received the report on April 19, 2011.
Castro is now charged with three felony counts of lewd acts on a child under 14, three felony counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child under 14, one felony count of continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14, and sentencing enhancement allegations for substantial sexual conduct with a child and inflicting great bodily injury.
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Opening statements are expected in Santa Ana this afternoon.
UPDATE, FEB. 14, 1:01 P.M.: A Santa Ana jury Wednesday found Mariano Castro guilty of counts that only slightly alter the maximum sentence he faces at a scheduled April 26 sentencing hearing.
He's now looking at up to 78 years to life in state prison as he was convicted on two of three felony counts of lewd acts on a child under 14 that had been filed against him. However, the jury still found Castro guilty on three felony counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child under 14 and a felony count of continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14. Sentencing enhancement allegations for substantial sexual conduct with a child and inflicting great bodily injury were also found true.