A Santa Paula man convicted of molesting three children was sentenced to the maximum possible sentence of 135 years to life, officials said Wednesday.
Juan Benito Rueda, 50, was found guilty of nine counts of lewd acts upon a child under the age of 14 and committing lewd acts upon multiple victims on Nov. 29, 2018. Prosecutors said prior to his conviction, Rueda repeatedly tried to dissuade the victims and witnesses from speaking in court.
“Despite his efforts to intimidate the victims, each victim appeared in court and testified during the trial,” Deputy District Attorney Thomas H. Steele, of the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office, said in a news release.
The first victim contacted Simi Valley police in October 2015 and told detectives Rueda molested her between 2006 and 2007. She was 5 at the time and said the molestations happened in his van and bedroom, officials said.
Two additional victims, who were between the ages of 4 and 13, told police they were molested by Rueda several times between 2003 and 2012.
A witness also came forward and told police she witnessed some of the victims being molested when they were little girls.