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Man Gets 20-Year Term for Molesting Lompoc Teen He Met Online

Saul Padilla
Saul Padilla

A Corona man is headed for a lengthy prison term for molesting a 14-year-old Lompoc girl he stalked on the Internet, according to the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office.

Saul Padilla, 48, pleaded guilty to multiple sex crimes in exchange for a sentence of 20 years in state prison, said Deputy District Attorney Brooke Gerard.

Padilla was arrested by Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputies on Jan. 8, 2012, in Vandenberg Village, after a 3 a.m. traffic stop.

The girl was in the car with him, and later testified that she had been kidnapped and sexually assaulted by Padilla, Gerard said.

Subsequent investigation revealed that Padilla first made contact with the girl two years earlier by posing as a 15-year-old boy in the Disney online game Club Penguin.

“Over the following two years, the relationship developed to the point that the defendant began visiting the girl in Lompoc without her parents’ knowledge, persuading her to skip class and meet him to engage in sexual activity, all in violation of the law,” Gerard said.

Padilla is due in Superior Court in Santa Maria on May 8 for sentencing.

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