A 57-year-old San Leandro man was convicted today of five felony sexual assault counts for raping a young family member. Arthur Esver faces more than 115 years to life in state prison when he’s sentenced by Alameda County Superior Court Judge Vernon Nakahara on Oct. 24, according to prosecutor Samantha Kim. Jurors deliberated for only one day before returning their verdict against Esver.
They found him guilty of four counts of intercourse or sodomy with a child under the age of 10 and one count of sexual penetration with a foreign object on a child under 10. Kim said in her closing argument on Monday that Esver took advantage of the family member’s trust in him and sexually attacked her after he made her comfortable by buying her ice cream and playing with her. Kim said Esver had regular access to the girl and “was someone she trusted, cared for and looked up to.”
The charges stem from incidents that occurred in San Leandro between May 2010 and March 2011, according to Kim. The prosecutor said that after the fifth alleged incident, the girl, who is now 12, finally told a family member what was happening to her because “she couldn’t take it anymore and had to tell someone.”
But Esver’s lawyer, Roger Hecht, told jurors that they should find Esver not guilty of all the charges against him because there’s no evidence that the girl was physically harmed or that Esver had sex with her. Kim said today that the jury’s quick verdict against Esver indicates that it believed the girl’s testimony about what happened to her and that there was physical evidence to corroborate her allegations. Kim said, “The jury did the right thing.”
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