A Tulsa County Jury rendered a guilty verdict against a man accused of sexually abusing two relatives over the course of several years.
On Friday, the jury found Daniel Saldivar, 30, guilty of five counts of child sexual abuse, including two counts of sexual abuse of a child under 12 for molesting the two girls over more than two years between January 2012 and October 2014. The jury recommended a sentence of 175 years in prison. Formal sentencing is set for May 20.
Saldivar has been held without bond in the Tulsa County jail since his arrest in late October 2014.
Saldivar's charges were related to allegations that he inappropriately touched one of the girls three times when she was between the ages of 10 and 12, and another girl twice when she was 11 years old.
He was arrested after the girls' mother became suspicious, noting changes in her daughters' demeanor after they spent the night with Saldivar. The mother checked one girl's cell phone and found a text message from the girl to Saldivar asking, "Why do you hurt me? You make me want to die." Saldivar responded with an unhappy face emoji.
The girls were taken for a sexual assault exam, and DNA evidence recovered from the exam implicated Saldivar.
When investigators spoke to Saldivar about the allegations, he responded, "Whatever she said is true and happened." He allegedly told investigators that he did not know why he molested the girls, but that he still wanted them to like him, and that he gets angry with himself and cries after "it happens."
Each count of child sexual abuse is punishable by a maximum sentence of life in prison. Sexual abuse of a child under 12 carries a minimum sentence of 25 years in prison.
According to reports, prosecutors offered a plea deal that would sentence him to life in prison. A life sentence would make him eligible for parole after about 38 years. However, Saldivar took his case to trial, and the jury recommended 175 years in prison. Because child sexual abuse is an 85 percent crime, if a judge follows the jury's recommendation, the defendant will have to serve nearly 149 years before becoming eligible for parole.
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