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Woman Gets 3-Year Term for Molesting Nephew, 12

September 24, 1987|CLAUDIA PUIG | Times Staff Writer

A 38-year-old Pacoima seamstress was sentenced to three years in prison Wednesday for molesting her 12-year-old nephew.

San Fernando Superior Court Judge Howard J. Schwab sentenced Sophia Moran Munoz to the prison term after a plea bargain. Munoz had been charged with two counts of lewd acts upon a child, but in August she pleaded guilty to one count.

On two occasions--in July and August of 1986--Munoz waited for her husband of 19 years to leave for work and then directed the boy to have sexual intercourse with her, a probation report said. He complied, "fearing she would spank him," the report said.

Several months later, the youth asked to move to Santa Barbara to live with another aunt, Marisol Garcia, the report said. After moving there, he told Garcia about the incidents, and she alerted authorities in Santa Barbara and San Fernando, according to the report.

When San Fernando police interviewed Munoz in January, 1987, Munoz admitted having sex with the boy on one occasion. After the interview, she fled the country and returned to her native Mexico, the report said.

Immigration and Naturalization Service officials arrested Munoz upon her return to the United States on Aug. 10, the report said.

The 12-year-old, described in the probation report as "a vulnerable little boy" who had not reached puberty, had come to live with Munoz and her husband to learn English and attain an American education.

"It appears Munoz used such a ploy merely to entice the victim to live with her . . . and to use the child for sexual purposes," the report said. "Using her authority as the child's local guardian, she was able to victimize him at will."

Munoz said she could not explain her actions and was sorry, the report stated.

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