SANTA ANA (CBSLA.com) — An Anaheim man who sexually assaulted a 12-year-old girl he met through MySpace was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison on Friday.
Matthew Castaneda, 36, was convicted in May of aggravated sexual assault of a child and committing a lewd act on a child younger than 14, with a sentencing enhancement for a prior conviction in 2007 for felony domestic violence and violating a restraining order.
KNX 1070’s Mike Landa reports two other felony charges on which jurors deadlocked were dismissed by Orange County Superior Court Judge John Conley.
Castaneda became acquainted with the victim in November 2009 when she accepted his friend request on MySpace, Deputy District Attorney Cynthia Herrera said.
Her profile said she was 19 years old, and in their online chats, she said she was 16, according to the prosecutor. Castaneda told the girl he was 21, but he was actually 33 at the time, Herrera said.
The defendant eventually convinced the girl to meet him at South Coast Plaza, and she skipped school and took a bus to the shopping mall on Feb. 17, 2010, the prosecutor said.
The two went to a couple of different parks from there, kissing at one of those stops, and eventually made their way to a motel in Anaheim, where Castaneda bought condoms and told the girl to get out of sight as he paid for the motel room, Herrera said.
When they got inside, she told him she wanted to go home, but he said no, according to the prosecutor.
The girl testified that Castaneda forced himself on her despite her protests and also forced her to have anal sex with him. He then took her bus pass and left her stranded with no way to get home, according to the prosecutor, who said the girl found a police cadet, who then alerted authorities.
Deputy Public Defender Lisa Kopelman contended that her client did not force himself on the girl and that she willingly agreed to have sex with him.
She also denied that Castaneda had anal sex with the girl and tried to force the teen to have oral sex with him.
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