A Guatemala native sentenced to life in prison for raping and impregnating a young girl was in the country illegally when he committed the crime, The Daily Caller News Foundation has learned.
Rony Otoniel Mendez, 26, was convicted of repeatedly raping the 10-year-old girl in her Florida home, and is on his way to prison to serve a life sentence without parole. The girl got pregnant from one of the assaults and gave birth to his daughter in 2015.
Mendez was an illegal immigrant when he assaulted the girl beginning in October 2013, a spokeswoman for the Polk County Sheriff’s office told TheDCNF. He fled the country after the girl learned she was pregnant and pressed charges, reports the Ledger. But federal officials tracked him down in Guatemala and extradited him to the U.S. to stand trial.
He was sentenced to life without parole — on his 26th birthday — for three convictions of sexual battery, and to a fourth life sentence on one count of molestation for fondling the girl’s breasts. Mendez required an interpreter during his trial.
A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement official could not immediately provide more details on the immigration history of Mendez.
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