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Santa Ana man convicted of murdering 18-month-old girl

August 05, 2013|By Ari Bloomekatz

A Santa Ana man was convicted Monday of beating an 18-month-old girl to death and abusing another child.

A jury found Juan Carlos Aguilar, 27, guilty of one felony count of murder, as well as assault and abuse, according to the Orange County district attorney's office.

Aguilar faces a maximum sentence of 31 years to life in state prison.

Aguilar lived in a Santa Ana apartment in July 2011 with his girlfriend and their 3-year-old child, and his girlfriend's sister and her 18-month-old daughter, Megan Rodriguez, according to prosecutors.

That month, a statement from prosecutors said, Aguilar was left alone with the 18-month-old and "while alone with the little girl, Aguilar assaulted the victim with great force by squeezing her ribcage with his hands."

"The defendant caused multiple traumatic injuries to the victim, including bruises and lacerations to her body and face, and internal injuries to her lungs, liver and brain," according to the release.

Megan later died.

It was also discovered during the investigation that Aguilar was involved in another abuse case in 2009.

"The defendant abused a 2-month-old female relative by squeezing and fracturing her rib cage, similar to the assault of Rodriguez. The baby in this case survived her injuries," according to the release.

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Twitter: @aribloomekatz | Facebook

ari.bloomekatz@latimes.com

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