A San Jose jury on Tuesday found a former day care worker guilty of sexually abusing nine children at two facilities in San Jose, a prosecutor said today. After deliberating from morning to late afternoon Tuesday, the Santa Clara County Superior Court jury convicted 27-year-old Keith Woodhouse of all 30 counts against him of felony lewd and lascivious acts on children under 14, Deputy District Attorney Luis Ramos said. Woodhouse was also found guilty of 30 separate special allegations of committing the acts against multiple victims, Ramos said. “I think the evidence was quite overwhelming,” Ramos said.
“The defendant violated the children’s trust and the trust of the parents as well.” The defendant now faces a sentence of up to 450 years to life, based on potential sentence of 15 years to life on each of the 30 counts, Ramos said. Woodhouse, whose trial started Aug. 26, was charged with touching children under their clothing while supervising them at day care centers run by the nonprofit Child Development Inc. The crimes occurred between August 2010 and January 2011 at the El Rancho Verde Child Development Center and at a similar center on the Trace Elementary School campus. Ramos said the jury convicted Woodhouse after hearing testimony from about 25 witnesses, including the nine female victims who described how the defendant touched them on their buttocks and elsewhere.
The victims were between 5 and 7 years old at the time of the abuse. Eight of the children took the stand in court during the five-week trial, and all nine made statements recorded on video by San Jose police that were exhibited to jury, Ramos said. Three of girls told the court that Woodhouse touched them each day while they were at a day care with him, Ramos said. Ramos praised San Jose police Detective Eric Martin for providing key evidence to convict Woodhouse, who confessed during a police video shown to the jury that he touched girls for sexual purposes and could not help himself. Woodhouse’s incriminating statement was “extremely persuasive to the jury,” Ramos said. Woodhouse’s attorney, Kelley Kulick of the county public defender’s office, said her client will be sentenced on Nov. 22 and that she plans to file an appeal. The defense did not call any witnesses during the case, Ramos said.
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