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Foster Father Faces Lengthy Prison Term for Molesting Young Girl

Norbert Manalisay Cruz Click to view larger
Norbert Manalisay Cruz

A 55-year-old foster father likely will spend the rest of his life in prison after being convicted by a Santa Maria jury Thursday of repeatedly molesting a young girl who was in his care, according to the Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Office.

Norbert Manalisay Cruz of Santa Maria was was found guilty by a jury of seven felony counts, including sexual intercourse with a child under age 10, oral copulation of a child, sexual penetration of a child, and aggravated sexual assault, District Attorney Joyce Dudley said.

Cruz faces a prison term of 125 years when he returns to court July 27 for sentencing. He also will have to register as a sex offender for life.

Cruz was the girl’s foster father between 2009 to 2011, while she was between the ages of 8 and 10, Dudley said.

He repeatedly sexually abused her in her home during that time frame, and coerced her to not tell anyone of the offenses, Dudley said. 

The child was placed with another family in late 2011, and at that point told her new foster mother about the sexual abuses.

"Horrendous cases like this all too often go unprosecuted because they are unreported,” Dudley said. “In this case, we worked with a very brave victim, a loving foster mother, a determined law enforcement, and social service agency.”

The Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office commends the hard work of Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Karapetian, the Santa Maria Police Department and Child Welfare Services for their commitment to the case.

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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