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O.C. man gets 10 years for sexually assaulting 12-year-old girl

February 19, 2013 |  7:08 pm

Leonel Cervantes booking photoA Santa Ana man who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl and victimizing two women was sentenced to more than 10 years in state prison, authorities said Tuesday.

Leonel Santana Cervantes, 44, was accused of putting his arm inside an open window to sexually assault the Santa Ana girl while she was sleeping in her bed, the Orange County district attorney's office said.

The girl screamed for her father as Cervantes ran away, according to prosecutors. He also was charged with climbing into a Santa Ana apartment through an open window before he was caught by a 42-year-old woman as he entered a bedroom where children were sleeping. Cervantes escaped by running out a front door.

In the third case, Cervantes was charged with peering through a window and watching a 31-year-old woman undress.  The woman called police, who found Cervantes hiding in a nearby dumpster and arrested him, the district attorney's office said in a statement.

Prosecutors said the crimes occurred between July 8, 2011, and Nov. 17, 2011.

Cervantes was sentenced to 10 years and eight months in prison and mandatory lifetime sex-offender registration. 

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-- Robert J. Lopez

twitter.com/LAJourno

Photo: Leonel Santana Cervantes. Credit: Orange County district attorney's office
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