A Superior Court jury rendered yesterday a guilty verdict on 62-year-old Jose Ilo Santos for molesting a then 8-year-old girl last year.
After deliberating for less than three hours, the six jurors unanimously found Santos guilty of two counts of sexual abuse of a minor in the first degree.
Santos, also known as Grandpa Ping, remained calm when a court staff read the verdict at 2:45pm.
The victim was tightly embraced by her mother outside the courtroom shortly after the hearing.
Associate Judge Joseph N. Camacho set Santos' sentencing for Jan. 16, 2013, and remanded the defendant to the Department of Corrections.
Assistant attorney general Margo Brown in an interview said the maximum penalty for each count is 30 years in prison, for a total of 60 years for both counts.
“Obviously we're very pleased with the outcome of the case. We realized the sensitive nature of this case. We're grateful to the jury,” Brown said.
Assistant attorney general James McAllister assisted Brown during the trial that began on Monday. Assistant public defender Douglas Hartig, counsel for Santos, refused to comment.
In his closing arguments yesterday morning, Brown said the doctors' examination on the girl indicated both vaginal and anal penetration.
“When all evidence are put together, it's not only consistent, it's conclusive,” Brown pointed out.
Brown said the girl stated that Santos touched her private parts using his finger.
No DNA samples taken and tested because the girl was taken to the Commonwealth Health Center on May 16, 2011, nine days after Santos did the horrifying things to the child, Brown said.
Hartig said the girl testified that she was touched by the defendant with her clothes on.
Hartig said the charges in the case involved sexual penetration.
Hartig said the doctor, who examined the girl and served as the prosecution's expert witness, admitted that he examined three sexual assault victims in the past.
“Three times, that's his experience?” the defense counsel asked.
Hartig said the doctor concluded that their examination showed it was consistent with sexual penetration.
“We're not here for consistent. We're here for certainty, conclusive,” he added.
Hartig questioned why there was no DNA samples taken and no DNA testing conducted. “We're here not for may, but proof beyond reasonable doubt,” he said.
The victim took the witness stand on Tuesday afternoon.
The Office of the Attorney General charged Santos with two counts of sexual abuse of a minor in the first degree for molesting the girl on April 23, 2011, and May 7, 2011, at his house in Tanapag.