Anthony Durham, former CHP officer, Lompoc city councilmember, and Lompoc “Man of the Year” in 2008, was sentenced to 45 years to life behind bars for repeatedly molesting two granddaughters over a four-year period. The girls were five and nine years old when Durham, 67, began sexually assaulting them.
Judge Rogelio Flores’s Lompoc courtroom was packed at last week’s sentencing hearing, as Durham’s daughter — the mother of the victims — denounced her father as a “monster.” Both victims also testified. One referred to Durham only as “him,” explaining he no longer deserved to be called “papa.”
Durham turned himself into authorities last year shortly after the victims’ parents became aware of the crime. He expressed remorse when interviewed by probation officials. But, according to prosecutor Stephen Foley, he also stated he hadn’t really hurt the girls because he hadn’t done anything “that disgusting” to them. Foleys said the girls experienced severe stomach pains, ulcers, and chronic vomiting as a result of Durham’s actions. Durham told authorities he’d been sexually molested as a child himself.
At the trial, Durham’s attorney Chris Ames filed letters of support with the judge but made no arguments. After the girls spoke, Durham sought to address the court. Judge Flores denied him.
Durham’s crime rocked Lompoc, where he played a prominent role in civic and athletic affairs, coaching girls’ sports teams. No other victims have come forward. “Picture someone you really respect a lot,” said Foley. “Now imagine them arrested, charged, and convicted for doing what Durham did. That’s what just happened to the City of Lompoc.”