A Bay Area man who claimed that he was just sleepwalking when he sexually assaulted his stepdaughter got a rude awakening this week, when a jury convicted him of the crime.
It was August 4, 2014 when 60-year-old Loren Rodriguez-Martinez sexually assaulted his 13-year-old stepdaughter in the Santa Rosa motel room in which he lived, Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch says.
According to Ravich, "The child awoke from a nap to find the defendant sexually assaulting her." The two were alone in the motel room when the assault occurred, and Rodriguez-Martinez "later claimed that he, too, had been napping in a separate bed, and had no memory of the sexual assault," Ravich says.
Rodriguez-Martinez continued to assert his innocence in the intervening years, and went to trial last week. During the seven-day trial, an expert witness for the defense testified that Rodriguez-Martinez was actually sleepwalking at the time of the assault, leading the defense to argue that because Rodriguez-Martinez was unconscious when he assaulted the girl, he could not be found guilty in the attack.
The jury deliberated for about six hours Wednesday, the Santa-Rosa Press-Democrat reports, before finding Rodriguez-Martinez guilty of "committing a lewd act upon a child under the age of 14."
“As we too often see in these types of cases, the defendant abused a position of trust to gain access to the victim, and to eventually sexually assault her," Ravich says.
"The jury properly held the defendant responsible for this horrible crime committed against a child.”
Rodriguez-Martinez faces a maximum of eight years in prison, and since the jury determined that the assault was “substantial sexual conduct,” he won't be eligible for probation during his term. He remains in custody without bail, and is scheduled to be sentenced on April 21.