Santa Ana Man Pleads Guilty to Molestation of Underage Relatives

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SANTA ANA (CNS) - A 22-year-old man pleaded guilty and was immediately sentenced to a year in jail today for molesting three underage relatives and harassing a 17-year-old cheerleader at Century High School in Santa Ana. 

Manuel Nava pleaded guilty to single counts each of lewd acts on a minor and attempted lewd acts on a child younger than 14, both felonies, as well as a misdemeanor count of child annoyance. Two misdemeanor counts of child annoyance were dropped. Nava also pleaded guilty to 11 misdemeanors, including disobeying a court order, disturbing school activities, resisting arrest, remaining on campus without permission and failing to leave campus when instructed to do so, according to court records. 

As part of the plea deal, Nava agreed to waive his credits for time served in custody so he will have about another four months to serve behind bars, said Deputy District Attorney Kristin Bracic. 

Nava will also have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life and will be on five years of formal probation when he is released from custody, Bracic said. Nava molested two boys and a girl he is related to, Bracic said. One boy was 6, the other boy was 11 and the girl was 14 when they were attacked, Bracic said. 

The incidents involving the cheerleader occurred from June through October 2017, according to court records. The other girls on the cheerleading squad complained to a teacher about Nava's harassment of the victim, said Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna, who added Nava was ``obsessed'' with the underage cheerleader.

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