Man Gets 105 Years to Life for Molesting 2 Girls in Anaheim

SANTA ANA, Calif.—A 42-year-old man was sentenced May 5 to 105 years to life in prison for sexually assaulting two young relatives, including one when she was about 4 years old, in Anaheim.

Cesar Alexander Machuca was convicted March 28, 2022, of a dozen felony counts of lewd or lascivious acts with a minor younger than 14. Machuca faced up to 180 years to life in prison.

Machuca was given credit for 1,936 days in jail and was ordered to register as a sex offender.

Machuca’s attorney, Randall Bethune, argued for 15 or 30 years to life in prison for his client. His prior criminal history was “insignificant,” Bethune said.

Prior to his arrest, Machuca was “gainfully employed at Cabinets Plus in Irvine for over 17 years,” Bethune said.

Both girls said they did not immediately come forward to authorities because they feared the defendant was a gang member who would attack them and their family, according to a trial brief from prosecutors.

The sexual assaults date back to 2010 for one victim and 2016 for the other, according to court records.

One girl came forward in September 2018 saying Machuca had sexually assaulted her two years prior to that when he lived with her extended family, according to prosecutors.

The first assault occurred when he was supposed to be helping her to learn how to swim, prosecutors said.

She told police she didn’t say anything because she thought he was in a street gang and had killed someone in El Salvador, prosecutors said. The abuse ended when her family moved into a new home away from Machuca, prosecutors said.

The girl’s troubles came to light because she became a “cutter” and was getting psychological counseling for it at school, prosecutors said.

The second girl said the abuse began when she was about 4 years old and that her family also feared the defendant so they did not immediately come forward and instead opted to move away, prosecutors said.

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