A Tulare County man was sentenced Thursday to 54 years to life in state prison for rape and robbery, the District Attorney’s Office said.
Manuel Vargas, 28, of London, was found guilty on March 18 of forcible rape, rape by threat, first-degree robbery, making criminal threats, and dissuading a witness by force and violence, the District Attorney’s Office said. Vargas was also found guilty on the special allegation that he entered the victim’s bedroom with the specific intent to commit rape.
Vargas was a guest sleeping in the living room of a residence on April 18, when he entered the minor girl’s bedroom while she was sleeping, the office said. He covered her mouth and threatened that harm would come to her mother if she screamed. He then raped her.
After the rape, Vargas took her cell phone and threatened to have her mom killed if she told anyone, the office said. The girl had never met the defendant prior to him entering the bedroom.
If paroled, Vargas will have to register as a sex offender for life.