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Man Gets 7 Years for Sex Abuse

Crime: The preschool teacher, convicted of 11 misdemeanors, will serve jail time for molesting his girlfriend's daughter.

July 25, 2002|JEAN GUCCIONE | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A Los Angeles preschool teacher was sentenced Wednesday to seven years in County Jail for sexually abusing his girlfriend's teenage daughter.

Victor Villatoro, 42, was convicted last month of 11 misdemeanor counts, including sexual battery, child annoyance and trying to dissuade a witness from testifying, said Deputy City Atty. Sandra Jo Streeter.

Besides the jail time, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Frank Johnson ordered Villatoro to register as a sex offender and submit to an HIV test.

Streeter said Villatoro began having sex with the then-13-year-old victim a month after she moved to the United States from El Salvador to live with her mother. The abuse took place between June 1998 and March 2000 at the Los Feliz home they shared, the prosecutor said.

That March the girl told school authorities that Villatoro had fondled her breasts, then later added that he had forced her to have sex with him, Streeter said.

The city attorney's office charged Villatoro with the misdemeanors, each punishable by up to a year in County Jail, after the Los Angeles County district attorney's office declined to prosecute the case, Streeter said.

Sandi Gibbons, a spokeswoman for the district attorney's office, said prosecutors found insufficient evidence to charge Villatoro with felonies.

Villatoro joined the Los Angeles Unified School District in September 1998 and supervised infants through toddlers at one of its children's centers, said Hilda Ramirez, a district spokeswoman. He was placed on unpaid leave after the criminal allegations surfaced, she said.

Villatoro's attorney, Deputy Public Defender Tyree Campbell, declined to comment.

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