A Texas man was sentenced to 15 years to life in state prison on Friday, more than 10 years after he allegedly broke into a home in Santa Ana and sexually assaulted an 8-year-old girl sleeping inside, prosecutors said.
Dustin Lee Morgan, 36, was arrested in March 2015 after DNA evidence recovered from the scene linked him to the crime that occurred seven years before.
Morgan was convicted of breaking into the home in the early morning hours of Feb. 8, 2008, then walking into the girl’s bedroom.
She was sleeping when he entered, but he pushed her face down once she awoke and covered her mouth to prevent her from screaming out as he sexually assaulted her, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release.
The attack ended after the victim was eventually able to cry for help, and Morgan escaped the home from a sliding glass door in the girl’s room, according to the DA’s office.
The girl’s family called police the same night and an investigation was launched. But it wasn’t until seven years later that further DNA analysis tied Morgan to the crime.
Morgan was subsequently arrested in Texarkana, where he lived, by the U.S. Marshals Service and extradited back Orange County for prosecution.
It was unclear whether the defendant was a Southern California resident at the time of the assault.
On June 25, a jury found him guilty of one felony count each of lewd acts upon a child under 14 and sexual penetration of a child under 10.
In addition to being sentenced to prison for life, he must register as a sex offender.