Crime

Paso man convicted of molesting a 12-year-old girl, faces 8 years in prison

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Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.
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Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.

A San Luis Obispo jury on Thursday convicted a Paso Robles man of molesting a girl who was 12 years old at the time of the abuse in December 2016.

Juan Antonio Esquivel, 31, faces up to eight years in state prison after he was found guilty of two felony counts of committing a lewd act on a child under the age of 14 and sexual penetration by a foreign object on a child under 14.

The trial began May 28, according to court records, and jurors took approximately five hours to deliberate Wednesday and Thursday.

“Cases of sexual abuse of children are some of the most complex, sensitive and tragic cases handled by our office,” District Attorney Dan Dow said in a news release following the verdict. “We admire the courage of this young victim in coming forward to report the abuse.”

Anthony Marlow, Esquivel’s defense attorney, could not immediately be reached for comment late Thursday. The victim testified against the man Tuesday, court records show.

Esquivel is scheduled to be sentenced July 2 in San Luis Obispo Superior Court. He will be required to register as a sex offender after his sentence has been served.

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