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A sentencing hearing for the father of Sierra LaMar’s suspected killer was delayed for three weeks in Morgan Hill today, but a life imprisonment penalty on his child sexual assault conviction “will happen,” a prosecutor said. A Santa Clara County Superior Court judge put off imposing a sentence on convicted child rapist Genaro Garcia Fernandez, 51, until Jan. 28 due to the illness of a probation officer, Deputy District Attorney Murat Ozgur said.
However, a sentence of life imprisonment “I do think will happen” for the defendant, found guilty by a jury in September of 17 counts of sex crimes against a young female family member, Ozgur said. “That’s the sentence prescribed under the penal code for aggravated sexual assault of a child under 14,” Ozgur said. The next hearing will take place at the Santa Clara County Superior Courthouse in Morgan Hill, Ozgur said.
Fernandez’s son, Antolin Garcia-Torres, is being held without bail in Santa Clara County Jail on murder charges with the special circumstances of committing murder during a kidnapping in the disappearance last March of Sierra LaMar, 15, from Morgan Hill. Fernandez was convicted of four counts of aggravated sexual assault on a child under 14, each of which carry sentences of 15 years to life, Ozgur said.
He was also found guilty on five charges of lewd acts on a child under 14, three counts of forcible sexual penetration, three counts of forcible rape and single counts of sodomy and oral copulation, Ozgur said. All of the charges involved assaults on a girl, a member of Fernandez’s family, starting when she was four or five years old in 1989 up to until 2000, Ozgur said. Morgan Hill police arrested Fernandez on sexual assault charges after officers monitored a phone call made by the victim, now in her late 20s, to Fernandez in which he admitted to performing the acts, Ozgur said. Fernandez later confessed to police he was responsible for the assaults, Ozgur said.
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