A 50-year-old man was sentenced to life in state prison on Friday after being convicted of raping his 4-year-old relative, officials said.
In June a jury found Ricardo Interiano-Rivas of Costa Mesa guilty of having sexual intercourse with and committing lewd acts on the young girl, according to a statement from the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
Rivas had been charged with sexual intercourse with a child younger than 10 years old and two counts of lewd acts upon a child under 14.
A sentencing enhancement was granted for substantial sexual contact with a child, allowing him to be given the same prison term as a defendant convicted of first-degree murder, prosecutors said.
Rivas will also be required to register as a lifetime sex offender. He will become eligible for parole after serving 25 years of his lifetime sentence.
He was raping the 4-year-old in July 2015 when a teenage relative walked in and caught him in the act, according to DA’s officials. The teenager immediately referred the crime to Costa Mesa police.
DNA and medical evidence also implicated Rivas in the act, prosecutors said.