Mon. Jun 24th, 2024

Alejandro Heredia-Santana, a 53-year-old man, was sentenced on Friday to almost 20 years in prison for ongoing sexual relationships with a pair of teenage girls he lived with years apart in Santa Ana. He even impregnated one of the victims.

Orange County Superior Court Judge Gassia Apkarian sentenced Heredia-Santana, to 19 years and eight months in prison, which was the maximum punishment. Heredia-Santana was given credit for 883 days in custody, which means almost two and a half years of his sentence has already been served.

One was between 12 to 15 years old and the other was between 15 to 18, according to Orange County Deputy District Attorney Sarah Rahman.

Rahman stated in a brief after the sentencing that the victims were “particularly vulnerable. Both victims had fraught relationships with their mothers.”

One of the victims did not speak any English at the time as she had just emigrated from Mexico, according to Rahman.

The victims and their mothers were “reliant and dependent on the defendant and he took advantage of their youthfulness and naivety to sexually abuse them,” according to Rahman.

“The defendant impregnated a teenage girl after being caught by her mother and kicking him out of the house,” Rahman stated. “He violated multiple court orders to continue the relationship with the underage girl, who now has a toddler to raise.”

To make matters worse, when Heredia-Santana was finally arrested the SAPD reported that he was a soccer coach in Santa Ana.

Rahman told the jurors in her opening statement at Heredia-Santana’s trial that the two victims “believed he was like a father to them. She continued, “Two girls who were manipulated into believing loving him was having sex with him. … The reality is it wasn’t anything more than an opportunity to take advantage of them.”

One of the victims was sexually abused when she was 15 to 17 years old until the defendant was arrested in March of 2022, Rahman said. That victim gave birth in August 2022 to a daughter the defendant fathered, according to Rahman.

The other victim was sexually abused when she was only 12 to 15 years old in 2005-12, according to Rahman.

The mothers of the two victims both had relationships with Heredia-Santana even though he was married to another woman at one point, according to Rahman.

In the first relationship, the defendant began having sex with the girl when she was 12, according to Rahman, who said that for two to three years, “the two had sex at every opportunity.”

At one point, the girl’s mother walked in on them while the girl was performing a sex act on the defendant, Rahman said. The abuse was not reported, and eventually the girl and her family moved away.

Years later, the defendant began having sex with another woman’s daughter, according to Rahman.

A psychological expert testified in the trial about Child Sexual Abuse Accommodation Syndrome to explain why the sex crimes were not immediately reported to authorities.

Rahman said in closing arguments that one of the victims “was more concerned about her mother’s well-being than she was about herself.” That victim didn’t report the abuse because her mother appeared to be happy in her relationship with Heredia-Santana.

That victim finally came forward when she saw that Heredia-Santana had victimized yet another girl, according to Rahman.

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

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