An Oakland man was sentenced today to 116 years to life in state prison for sexually assaulting his stepdaughter, starting when she was only 8 years old.
Armando Morales-Cuevas, 41, who worked as a chef at a restaurant in Berkeley, was convicted in March of four counts of intercourse with a child age 10 or younger and one count of continuous sexual abuse of a child age 14 or younger, according to prosecutor Tim Wellman.
Morales-Cuevas married the girl’s mother in 2007 and although he wasn’t the girl’s natural father he was the only father figure she’s known and she called him “Dad,” Wellman said.
Morales-Cuevas had sex with her at the family’s home in Oakland when she was 8 and 9 years old and when she was 11 and 12 he orally copulated her and sodomized her, the prosecutor said.
Morales-Cuevas was arrested in November 2015 after the girl made a statement to child abuse investigators, according to Wellman.
The girl also made statements against Morales-Cuevas in an interview with prosecutors and at his preliminary hearing in August 2016 but at his trial she recanted her accusations against him, Wellman said.
The girl, who’s now 14, has been taken away from her mother and placed in foster care and that may have contributed to her decision to recant, he said.
However, jurors were convinced that Morales-Cuevas was guilty because of the girl’s previous statements and because Morales-Cuevas admitted that he’d had some sexual activity with her, Wellman said.