Anaheim man sentenced for sexually assaulting underage female relatives

SANTA ANA (CNS) - An Anaheim man was sentenced today to 55 years to life in prison for sexually assaulting two underage female relatives multiple times over several years.  

Joel Guerrerojasso, 36, was also ordered to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.   

Orange County Superior Court Judge Gregg Prickett rejected the defendant's request to have some of the punishment run concurrently. The defendant ``took advantage of a special position of trust,'' and the ``victims were particularly vulnerable,'' the judge said.   

Guerrerojasso was convicted Dec. 28 of two counts of lewd or lascivious acts with a minor younger than 14, and one count each of lewd acts on a child ages 14 or 15 and forcible oral copulation, all felonies. Jurors also found true sentencing enhancements for multiple victims.   

The oldest girl turned 17 just as the defendant was arrested in September of last year, according to Deputy District Attorney Mena Guirguis. The other girl was 12.   

The older girl ``remembers her (relative) molesting and abusing her since she was 8 years old,'' Guirguis told jurors. ``It started when she was in the third grade ... and it never stopped.''   

By the time she was in seventh grade, the defendant was also showing the girl pornographic videos on his phone while encouraging her to engage in sexual activity, the prosecutor said.   

Guerrerojasso would corner the girl when her mother was not around and even threatened to have her quinceanera party canceled if she didn't comply with his sexual demands, Guirguis said.   

He ``held that (party) hostage'' unless the girl would escalate the sexual activity, the prosecutor said.   When Guerrerojasso was arrested, he  ``confessed'' to trying to have sex with the two girls, Guirguis said.   The younger victim denied ``anything happened'' when first questioned by social workers and police, he said. Last August, however, investigators interviewed her again and she ``finally disclosed that she, too, was molested by'' the defendant, Guirguis said.   

Defense attorney Jay Moorhead conceded that his client may have been guilty of some of the crimes, but not all of them. He told jurors at the onset of the trial to ``listen to inconsistencies, vagaries as to times, places and details'' when the girls testified.   

Moorhead acknowledged his client made a ``full confession'' to police, but added, ``Keep in mind the interview is done in English'' and the defendant speaks ``broken English.''

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