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Jury convicts man for 10-year-old's sexual assault and kidnapping

A 34-year-old man is awaiting sentencing following a recent jury verdict in a California court. The charges against him include a host of crimes related to child kidnapping and sexual assault. Court documents showed that the chain of events started in the spring of 2013.

On a cool night, a mother heard alarming sounds from her 10-year-old daughter's bedroom. When she went to check on her, the child was not there. Police reportedly launched a neighborhood house-to-house search, but other than multiple false leads, they were none the wiser. Surprisingly, the child was found walking in a parking lot after about 12 hours. She was not wearing shoes and was dressed in unfamiliar clothes.

Detectives were ultimately led to a known member of a gang with a significant criminal history. It was concluded that he joined another man to carry out a burglary that night. The gang member apparently took the child at gunpoint. With the accomplice driving the car, they took the girl away from her home. However, the driver soon changed his mind and left the car, the kidnapper and the child some distance from the house.

After finding the girl, the search for the man who kidnapped her continued. Authorities reportedly located him in Mexico at a rehabilitation center where he had registered under an assumed name. He was apparently identified by a tattoo on his chest. Investigators then determined that, during the 12 hours of captivity, the girl was sexually assaulted and photographed at several locations.

Any person who is accused of sexual assault in California has the right to decline to make potentially self-incriminating statements. Furthermore, accused individuals may refuse to provide answers during police interrogation, and they retain the right to utilize the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney. A lawyer can help in assessing the formal accusations and the prosecution's evidence, using this information to prepare a criminal defense for the coming court proceedings. Whether the case proceeds to trial, or a plea deal is offered for consideration, the goal is to achieve a favorable result that is in the best interests of the client.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "Man convicted in kidnapping and sex assault of 10-year-old Northridge girl", Joseph Serna, Sept. 4, 2015

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