Man Gets Death For 2004 Murder Of 5-Year-Old

SAN FERNANDO, Calif. (AP) — A Southern California man has been sentenced to death for sexually assaulting and beating to death a 5-year-old girl.

Twenty-nine-year-old Antonio Rodriguez was sentenced Thursday in a San Fernando courtroom for the 2004 attack on his girlfriend’s daughter in Castaic. He was convicted in July of murder, torture and other charges.

Prosecutors say Rodriguez brutalized Desarie Saravia and her 6-year-old brother, Brian, for months before he molested and beat the girl in a park restroom. He’d taken the children to the park while their mother cleaned a house nearby.

In sentencing Rodriguez, Superior Court Judge Ronald S. Coen said Rodriguez had extinguished the light of an angel.

The girl’s mother, 32-year-old Debby Saravia, is awaiting trial on murder and other charges.

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