Salinas man sentenced to 48 years for molesting stepdaughters


A Salinas man was sentenced Wednesday to 48 years in prison for sexually assaulting his stepdaughters when they were children, the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office said.

Joel Rodriguez, 40, will be registered as a lifetime sex offender and prohibited from contacting the victims.

Prosecutors said the two child victims, now 19 and 22, were present at the hearing with their 21-year-old sister and thanked prosecutors for their support.

Rodriguez was found guilty of substantial sexual contact with the women while they were seven and ten years old, as well as attempting to touch the 21-year-old woman three years ago when she was sleeping.

The sisters said they reported the crime to move on with their lives and because it was the right thing to do, rather than to ruin their stepfather’s life, according to prosecutors.

Judge Julie Culver thanked the women for their bravery and told them they will have successful lives because of their supportive family, which included their maternal uncle who accompanied them to court.

Prosecutors said the victims also received support from the district attorney’s support canine, Odie, throughout the case.

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