A Nipomo man was sentenced Thursday to 18 years to life in state prison for the molestation of his niece over the course of three years.
Judge Michael Duffy handed down the sentence to Eduardo Lealcalderon, apologizing to the family for the man’s actions.
“I’m sorry for what this man has done,” Duffy said.
Lealcalderon’s sister-in-law, the mother of the girl, who’s now 10, spoke at the sentencing.
Standing at a lectern in the courtroom, she told Lealcalderon that he didn’t think about his brother and family.
She spoke of his breach of trust and talked about how the molestation affected her daughter.
The Tribune is withholding the identities of the mom and her daughter because the girl is the victim of a sex crime.
“I won’t let anyone tell lies and less so when it affects my daughter,” the mother said. “Because I had to work, I left (my children) with you. It was the worst thing I did. We were all deceived by you.”
The mother said that the crime committed against her daughter caused the girl to fear the night, when his molestations happened, and lose sleep.
The girl contemplated suicide because of the effect on her, the mother said.
“She has rage and hate for you,” the mother said through a Spanish language interpreter.
Lealcalderon, 33, also listened through a Spanish language interpreter. He shook his head when asked by Duffy if he wanted to comment.
The molestation started when the girl was 6 and was reported when the girl was 9, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
The mother became suspicious when Lealcalderon entered the girl’s bedroom one night when she was sleeping with the girl to comfort her because she was afraid to be alone at night, according to prosecutors.
The next day, the girl told her mom what was happening, and Lealcalderon told sheriff’s investigators that he may have penetrated the girl twice when they were playing “horsey,” but said he didn’t rape her, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
Prosecutor Greg Devitt negotiated the plea agreement that led to the sentence with defense attorney Michael Adams — which was entered on Feb. 2.
Lealcalderon pleaded no contest to the felony crimes of committing a lewd act on a child younger then age 14 and sexual penetrating with a child younger then age 10.