A 39-year-old Santa Maria man will spend the rest of his life behind bars after being sentenced Wednesday on numerous felony counts, including child molestation and solicitation to commit murder.
Felix Nicolas Jr. was convicted Nov. 21 of 16 counts of sexual abuse, including solicitation to commit murder, aggravated sexual assault of a minor under the age of 14, oral copulation of a minor under the age of 14, rape of a minor under the age of 14, and attempted sodomy of a minor under the age of 14.
Nicolas was sentenced to 206 years in prison by Superior Court Judge Patricia Kelly in Santa Maria.
Nicolas sexually assaulted three girls — between the ages of 9 and 13 at the time of the crimes, according to Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley.
While incarcerated in the Santa Barbara County Jail, Nicolas hired a fellow inmate to kill two of the victims who are currently ages 21 and 23, Dudley said.
The inmate told a guard about the plan to kill the two victims, and he assisted the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department in an investigation into the murder for hire.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Kevin Duffy, the case prosecutor, commended the victims, who he noted testified in the trial and delivered moving impact statements at the sentencing hearing.
"As a result of the prosecution efforts in this case and the exemplary investigative work by Santa Maria Police and Santa Barbara County sheriff's detectives, Nicolas will spend the rest of his life in prison," Dudley said in a statement. "He will never have an opportunity to harm these victims or any other child."