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Man Sentenced to 423 Years for Burglaries, Rape Targeting Women Over 60 in Long Beach

Melvin Earl Farmer Jr. is seen in a still from surveillance video released Feb. 9, 2017, by the Long Beach Police Department.

Melvin Earl Farmer Jr. is seen in a still from surveillance video released Feb. 9, 2017, by the Long Beach Police Department.

A Lynwood man convicted in a string of burglaries and attacks on two women across one week in 2017 in Long Beach was sentenced Monday to 423 years to life in state prison, officials said.

A jury previously found Melvin Earl Farmer Jr., 40, guilty of 13 felony counts on July 20, including one count each of forcible rape, sexual battery by restraint, dissuading a witness from reporting a crime, assault to commit a felony during the commission of a first-degree burglary, criminal threats, second-degree robbery and elder abuse, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release.

He was also convicted on three counts each of first-degree residential robbery and first-degree burglary with a person present.

Prosecutors said the crimes occurred between Feb. 2 and 9, 2017.

According to investigators, four women between the ages of 63 and 95 in a senior housing complex near Atlantic Avenue and Via Carmelitos reported being robbed that week.

During one of the burglaries, on Feb. 5, Farmer raped a 63-year-old woman, according to evidence presented in court.

Farmer was also convicted of beating a 90-year-old woman after she refused to perform a sexual favor while he was burglarizing her home on the 3700 block of Pacific Avenue on Feb. 9.

Police had previously said the victim in that incident fought off her attacker, but was hospitalized with non-critical injuries.

In most cases, the burglar knocked on the victim’s door before forcing his way inside and physically assaulting them. He would then steal personal items, including their cellphones, purses and cash, detectives said.

Long Beach police released surveillance footage surrounding the crimes the morning of the last assault, and Farmer was arrested the next day.

The defendant already had a lengthy criminal history that included robbery and theft when he taken into custody, Police Chief Robert Luna said at the time.

A 33-year-old woman named Sophia Yim was also arrested in the case as Farmer’s accomplice and charged with first-degree residential robbery and first-degree burglary with a person present, according to the DA’s office.

According to the Los Angeles Times, she was the getaway driver the morning Farmer beat and robbed a 90-year-old victim.

She entered a no contest plea on July 9 and was sentenced to five years of felony probation, 30 days of community service with a six-year suspended prison sentence, prosecutors said.