Nevada County jury convicts south county man of rape, molestation |

Nevada County jury convicts south county man of rape, molestation

A Nevada County jury on Wednesday convicted a south county man on charges including rape and child molestation, prosecutors said.

Guadalupe Santa Maria, 43, was convicted on two felony rape charges and one count of having lewd and lascivious acts with a child. Jurors also convicted him of battery, sexual battery and annoying/molesting a child, all misdemeanors, said Jesse Wilson, deputy district attorney.

Santa Maria faces around 25 years in prison, if all his sentences are consecutive. His sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 6, Wilson added.

“I feel that justice has been served,” the prosecutor said. “I feel that the victims in this case were extremely vulnerable. These are some of the worst crimes out there.”

Defense attorney Greg Klein, who represents Santa Maria, couldn’t be reached for comment.

Testimony in the trial began Aug. 16 and ended the following day. Jurors deliberated Aug. 17 and Wednesday, reaching their verdicts in about four hours, Wilson said.

Wilson said Santa Maria molested a preteen girl around 2012. He also molested a teen girl in 2013. The battery charge stems from a third, adult victim near the end of 2013.

Prosecutors levied the rape charges against Santa Maria because of a fourth victim, Wilson said.

Authorities learned of the accusations when one of the victims told an adult, who then contacted police. They arrested Santa Maria near the end of 2014. He remained out on bond for his trial, but was taken into custody after Wednesday’s convictions. He remained held that day without bond, Wilson said.

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email or call 530-477-4239.

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