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Kid Porn Means Term of 50 to Life

The O.C. man, whose wife is also charged, allegedly tricked parents of the 4-year-old victim.

October 12, 2006|Christine Hanley | Times Staff Writer

An Orange County businessman was sentenced Wednesday to serve 50 years to life for molesting a 4-year-old relative in a case that unfolded after authorities discovered a trunk full of homemade child porn movies that investigators called a "little chest of horrors."

David S. Hwang, 35, agreed to plead guilty to all charges under a deal proposed by Superior Court Judge Gary S. Paer. The judge said the plea will spare the girl and her family from reliving "the nightmare" by having to testify or watch the "despicable" videotapes Hwang made while molesting the child, and it ensures that Hwang will never be free.

"In my mind, this is a death sentence," Paer said in summarizing the agreement.

Prosecutors said Hwang and his wife, who is also charged, deceived the girl's parents into letting them "baby-sit" her to practice their parenting skills. Based on the footage, prosecutors also said the couple gave the girl "medicine" that rendered her unconscious while being molested.

Hwang's attorney, Don Ronaldson, declined to comment.

Hwang still faces charges in Texas for allegedly molesting five young girls there, including an 8-month-old. His wife, Sheila Marie Sikat, 26, is charged with the same counts as her husband in the Orange County case and is scheduled to go to trial next month.

The couple were arrested in September 2003, fresh from their honeymoon in the Bahamas. At the time, they both worked for Pacific Life Insurance Co. in Newport Beach, he in technical services and she in marketing.

Authorities were led to their Rancho Santa Margarita home after an anonymous tipster sent a package with a videotape that contained scenes from multiple tapes, and revealed where other tapes might be found.

Inside a green wooden trunk, investigators found 212 videotapes, some shot in Orange County and others shot in the 1990s in Texas, where Hwang went to college and lived before moving to California. Some alleged molestations were with a former girlfriend, also charged.

christine.hanley@latimes.com

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