Crime

Fresno man convicted of raping, kidnapping his girlfriend’s daughters

A 39-year-old Fresno man was convicted Tuesday of kidnapping, rape, and performing lewd acts on a child younger than age 14.

Macario Cerda was convicted in the Visalia division of the Tulare County Superior Court. He faces 400 years-to-life at his Jan. 16 sentencing.

The Tulare County District Attorney’s Office said “the victim revealed that she had been raped as a minor by Cerda since 2010, with one such rape resulting in a pregnancy. The victim’s younger sister later revealed that she too was a victim of Cerda, who began to abuse and rape her in 2009.”

The district attorney’s office said the investigation began in February 2013, when Cerda was in a relationship with the victims’ mother in Woodlake. At that time, Cerda forced one of his girlfriend’s daughters into a van and drove her to a remote location in Tulare County where he forcibly raped her under threat that he would harm her and her family.

“During the crime, the victim’s mother called her and overheard yelling,” the district attorney’s office said. “She immediately called the police, who responded to her residence. After the rape, Cerda had the victim return the call and demanded he would not return her until the police had departed the residence.”

Cerda exited the van for a few moments, and the victim jumped in the driver’s seat and drove away.

Cerda was arrested the next day by Tulare County Sheriff’s Office deputies near the Fresno/Tulare county line near Highway 99.

Cerda was convicted of three counts of forcible rape, one count of kidnapping to commit rape, one count of criminal threats, and seven counts of performing a lewd act upon a child under the age of 14. Each count is a felony.

Cerda also has a felony domestic violence and criminal threats conviction from 2011.

Carmen George: 559-441-6386, @CarmenGeorge
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