SALINAS, Calif. (KION) A Salinas resident was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the aggravated assault of his 9-year-old stepdaughter starting when she was 5 years old, according to the Monterey County District Attorney's Office.
A jury found the man, 34-year-old Aaron Eugene Sepulveda, guilty of nine crimes related to the sexual assaults and an enhancement for the personal affliction of great bodily injury in the most recent incident that happened in August 2018.
Investigators said that the victim was admitted to Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital for severe bleeding at that time. While she was there, a doctor saw that she had bruising to her face, arms and hips and tearing and lacerations to some tissue.
The DA's Office said Sepulveda promised the victim an Evee Pokémon Go doll if she told doctors that she caused the injuries herself, but because of the severity of her injuries and blood loss, doctors did not believe the story and called Salinas police and Child Protective Services to investigate.
Sepulveda was arrested at SVMH.
The DA's Office said the victim is now 11 years old and gave testimony at the trial. She was supported by her father, grandmother, investigators, an SVMH doctor, nurses, a DA victim advocate and facility canine Odie.