Norbert Cruz, 55, was found guilty Thursday afternoon in Santa Maria Superior Court of seven child molestation crimes committed against his former foster daughter when she was 8 to 10 years old. The guilty verdicts, which carry a sentence of 125 years to life in state prison, came after five years in court.
From 2009 to 2011, determined the jury after less than two weeks of trial, Cruz sexually abused the child again and again inside his home, making her promise to never tell anyone. According to prosecuting Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Karapetian, the victim built up the courage to tell her new foster mother, whom she was placed with in late 2011.
Following the guilty verdicts, Cruz was taken into custody Thursday in Judge Gustavo Lavayen’s courtroom, where he will be sentenced on July 27. His attorney Catherine Swysen said in an interview, “We are obviously disappointed by the jury verdict based on the fact that Mr. Cruz has denied the allegations.”
“We are very thankful for the jury’s verdict, and their time and attention to this tragic case,” Karapetian told The Independent. “Jane Doe can finally move forward with her life and gain some closure after the years of abuse she suffered.”