Man pleads guilty to child molestation
A former Ramona man has pleaded guilty to three counts of molesting two girls in his former household and has agreed to accept a nine-year prison term.
Rigoberto Lopez Cruz, 36, will be sentenced on Dec. 9 by El Cajon Superior Court Judge Patricia Cookson. He pleaded guilty to committing lewd acts on a child before any of the victims were to testify in a preliminary hearing that had been set for Nov. 19.
“This spares the already traumatized girl from having to testify,” said Deputy District Attorney Claudia Grasso. “It was a good resolution.”
The first incidents occurred in June 2007 to an 11-year-old girl who was in the same household as Cruz at the time, according to the charges. The third incident involved the girl’s sister, who was 5 years old at the time, and was witnessed by the older girl, said Grasso.
The older girl saw Cruz put a blanket over himself and the girl’s sister, and she was molested. Cruz was under a blanket and didn’t know the older girl was there.
Cruz left the area and moved to Oregon a year ago. He was arrested in Oregon in June and was extradited to San Diego.
Grasso said Cruz and his attorney agreed to accept a nine-year term. She said the charges are all “three strike” charges and if gets convicted again after his parole, he would face a 75-year term in prison.
Cruz remains in the George Bailey Detention Facility on $250,000 bail.
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