A former Ramona man who pleaded guilty to three counts of molesting two girls when he lived in Ramona was sentenced Dec. 8 to nine years in state prison.
Rigoberto Lopez Cruz, 36, was given consecutive sentences by El Cajon Superior Court Judge Patricia Cookson of three years per charge to total nine years. He was fined and given credit for spending the past six months in jail.
The parents of the victims wrote a letter to the judge in Spanish, which was translated by Deputy District Attorney Claudia Grasso.
The parents wrote that Cruz “destroyed the little girls’ lives” by molesting them. They wrote they hoped the girls would recover over time.
Cruz pleaded guilty to committing lewd acts on a child. He did so before there was a preliminary hearing. Grasso said “this spares the already traumatized girl from having to testify.”
The first two 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 extradited to San Diego.
When Cruz pleaded guilty last month, he and his attorney agreed to accept a nine-year sentence, so the term was not unexpected. The prosecutor said the charges are all “three strike” charges and, if he is convicted again after his parole, he would face a 75-year term in prison.