SANTA ANA, Calif. – A 34-year-old man was sentenced Thursday to 18 years to life in prison for sexually assaulting a boy repeatedly for two years, starting when the victim was 8.
Pedro Elmer Campos pleaded guilty Oct. 11 to oral copulation or sexual penetration with a child 10 years or younger and lewd or lascivious acts with a minor under 14, both felonies, according to court records. As part of the plea deal two counts of sexual intercourse or sodomy with a child 10 or younger and one count of oral copulation of a child 10 or younger, all felonies, were dismissed.
The plea deal came as Campos was nearing a trial. The defendant was facing 80 years to life if convicted at trial.
In March 2019, police were called about the 2009 attacks, Deputy District Attorney Christina Warden said in a trial brief.
The victim said he was sexually assaulted by two brothers for years when he and his mother lived in Santa Ana, Warden said.
Victor Daniel Campos, 31, was also charged with attacking the victim in 2019, but it was later learned he was a juvenile at the time of the assaults so charges were dismissed, Warden said.
The victim and his mother lived in a garage attached to a home at 1044 E. Richland Ave. when the boy was attacked, Warden said.
When the boy’s mother would go to work she would have the homeowner look after him, but the victim spent most of the time in the garage alone, Warden said.
Pedro Campos, the son of the homeowner, began the assaults when he visited the boy once and offered him a chance to play on his portable PlayStation game, Warden said.
The victim did not tell anyone right away because he was “scared defendant would tell an adult and that he and his mom would get kicked out of the garage,” Warden said. “At that time they were very poor, and they had nowhere else to go. Victim felt wrong and dirty and ashamed. He was scared that defendant would tell someone, and they would think he and his mom were bad.”
Campos would sexually assault the boy about three times a week, often during the summer months during school breaks and on weekends when no one else was home, Warden said.
At some point, Campos’ brother also joined in the assaults, Warden said.