A 44-year-old man was convicted Monday of repeatedly molesting a young girl over a three-year period, according to the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office.
A Superior Court jury returned the verdict against Nelson Oliverio Cabrera after deliberating Friday and part of Monday, said Senior Deputy District Attorney Mary Barron.
Cabrera could be sentenced to up to 16 years in state prison when he returns to Judge Jean M. Dandona‘s courtroom May 31, Barron said, adding that Cabrera will have to register for life as a sex offender.
After a two-week trial, Cabrera was convicted of molesting the victim, whose identity was not made public, in various locations in Santa Barbara and Goleta between 2006 and 2009, Barron said.
He was facing a single felony count of committing three or more lewd and lascivious acts on a child under the age of 14, which can result in a sentence ranging from probation to 16 years in prison. Due to the nature of the crime, any time behind bars would have to be served in state prison, and not in Santa Barbara County Jail, Barron said.
Sheriff’s investigators first arrested Cabrera in April 2011, then re-arrested him in September, Barron said.
Cabrera is being held without bail at County Jail, Barron said.