A Culver City man who sexually abused a 15-year-old girl with autism over a three-week period, during which she was kept inside his home, was sentenced to 24 years in state prison on Tuesday, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office said.
Samuel Duran, 36, kept the teenage girl — who police said was diagnosed with autism — inside his home and sexually abused her for weeks during the spring of 2015, prosecutors said. The girl disappeared from her Mar Vista home on March 24 of that year, prosecutors said.
Duran was charged with three counts of forcible oral copulation with a victim over 14-years-old, for which he pleaded no contest last month.
The girl was found by law enforcement on April 13, 2015, three weeks after her disappearance, when she managed to make a phone call that was traced back to his home, prosecutors said.
The teen’s mother had noticed an unfamiliar number appear on her cellphone, and police traced that number to Duran’s home in Culver City, as KTLA reported at the time.
“The police actually got her,” her mother told KTLA. “They had to go in the house and physically get her.”
After making the call that saved her, the girl was reunited with her mother.
“She’s been through a lot and life will never be the same,” her mother said.
On the day she disappeared, the girl had gone for a walk near Mar Vista Recreation Center and never came home, her mother told police.
When she was reported missing, police had said she is diagnosed with autism. Her mother said in an email to KTLA at the time that the girl has the mental capacity of an 8-year-old and is very trusting.
She also said her daughter did not take her medication or cell phone when she left.
Duran’s home was actually a back unit on his grandparents’ property, and relatives told KTLA at the time that they had no idea there was a girl there.
The morning after the girl was found at his home, Duran was booked by Los Angeles police and held on $8 million bail. Two days later, he pleaded not guilty to a dozen charges related to the case.
At the time, he was charged with six counts of forced oral copulation, three counts of rape and three counts of forced digital penetration, according to a news release from authorities.
Along with his 24-year sentence, he must register as a lifetime sex offender.