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Garden Grove Man Found Guilty of Sexually Assaulting 2-Year-Old Girl

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A 25-year-old man was convicted on Wednesday of repeatedly sexually assaulting and committing lewd acts on a toddler in his Garden Grove home, prosecutors said.

Joseph Michael Hishmeh was in a position of trust with access to the 2-year-old victim during the six months the crimes took place, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release.

He was convicted of digitally penetrating the young girl twice, as well as reaching underneath her clothes and touching her chest, vagina and legs with sexual intent, according to the DA’s office.

The crimes took place between the end of April and beginning of September in 2014, officials said.

The abuse came to light after the FBI found video evidence of the assaults during a separate probe, authorities said. The information was then referred to a local task force in Orange County, whose investigators arrested Hishmeh in February 2015.

A jury found him guilty on Wednesday of seven felony counts: two counts of sexual penetration with a child 10 years or younger and five counts of lewd acts upon a child under 14.

The defendant could face a maximum sentence of 46 years to life in state prison if convicted as charged, prosecutor said.

Hishmeh was expected to be sentenced Aug. 10 in Santa Ana. He was being held at the Theo Lacy Facility in Orange, inmate records show.

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