A California man convicted of sexually assaulting the underage daughter of his girlfriend dozens of times and eventually impregnating the victim was sentenced Friday to 230 years in prison, the Press-Enterprise reported.
A jury took less than three hours June 24, to convict Deon Austin Welch, 30, of Hemet, on 15 counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child, and one enhancement of bodily injury because of the victim's pregnancy, according to the Desert Sun.
"If a defendant ever deserved a maximum sentence, in a case such as this, Mr. Welch deserves it," Riverside County Superior Court Judge Bernard Schwartz said Friday.
According to court records, the victim became pregnant and gave birth Nov. 4, 2016, when she was 13, KTLA reported. The baby's DNA matched Welch's, the television station reported. Previously, the victim told her mother's co-worker Welch had been coming into her room and touching sexually since March 2014, according to KTLA.
The assaults continued until the latter part of 2016, Riverside Deputy District Attorney Sean Oswill said.
Welch lived with the victim’s mother, who also had two young sons, the Press-Enterprise reported. According to court records, Welch began groping the girl when her mother was away from their apartment or asleep.
The co-worker's concerns led to an investigation and interview with a county forensic examiner, the Press-Examiner reported. A follow-up medical examination was curtailed when the victim's mother interfered with the process, the newspaper reported.
Welch was arrested March 17, 2017, KTLA reported.
Schwartz, during the sentencing, called the case "a complete travesty," the Sun reported.
"There was a failing by our social services in this case that resulted in additional harm, both emotional and physical, to the victim," Schwartz said. "It appears the people responsible for taking care of her, her mother and Department of Public Socials Services, failed her."
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