SANTA ANA – Opening statements are scheduled to begin Thursday in the trial of a Santa Ana man accused of sexually assaulting an 8-year-old female relative on Christmas Eve while family members were sleeping.
Jorge Miguel Gallegos, 38, of Santa Ana, faces a possible maximum sentence of life in state prison if convicted of the attack, which was interrupted when Gallegos’ wife walked into the kitchen where the assault occurred, prosecutors say.
Gallegos is charged with three felony counts of lewd acts on a child younger than 14, and dissuading a witness from reporting a crime.
He also faces sentencing enhancement allegations for substantial sexual conduct with a child, according to a news release from the District Attorney’s office.
The sexual assault occurred at about 11 p.m. Dec. 24, 2009.
After Gallegos’ wife walked into the kitchen and witnessed the molestation, he ripped the telephone from the wall and threatened her not to tell anyone about the sexual assault, prosecutors say. He then fled to a friend’s house.
Gallegos’ wife called 911 and Santa Ana Police officers arrested Gallegos a short time later.
An investigation revealed that Gallegos allegedly attacked the same girl in his home between September and December 2009 – an assault that went unreported, according to the D.A.’s office.