Santa Ana man convicted of abusing, impregnating young relative
Mariano Antonio Castro, 58, was found guilty by a jury Wednesday of multiple counts of child sexual assault, Orange County prosecutors said.
Castro began sexually assaulting the girl when she 8 and continued to engage in sex acts with her until she 17, prosecutors told jurors.
The girl identified only as Jane Doe was 12 when she gave birth to a baby girl, prosecutors said. Despite the pregnancy, the ongoing sexual abuse of Jane Doe was not reported to law enforcement until 2011.
The teenager began going to a new church and confided in a pastor that Castro had impregnated her as a 11-year-old, prosecutors said.
The pastor persuaded the teenager to report the sexual assault to the police, and she then contacted Santa Ana Police in April 2011.
Castro was convicted of two felony counts of lewd acts on a child under 14, three felony counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child under 14 and one felony count of continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14. The jury also found that sentencing-enhancement allegations of substantial sexual conduct with a child and inflicting great bodily injury were true.
Prosecutors say he faces a maximum sentence of 78 years to life in state prison and mandatory lifetime sex offender registration when he is sentenced April 26.
-- Richard Winton
Photo: Booking photo of Mariano Antonio Castro. Credit: Orange County Sheriff's Department