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Padilla enters plea deal for multiple sex crimes

Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley announced Wednesday that Saul Padilla, 48, of Corona, Calif., made a plea deal for multiple sex crimes committed in January 2012.

Padilla agreed to a sentence of 20 years in state prison and lifetime registration as a sex offender.

Padilla was discovered with a child while at a traffic stop at 3 a.m. in Vandenberg Village.

The 14-year-old girl testified against Padilla in court and told authorities she had been kidnapped and sexually assaulted by him.

Further investigation revealed that Padilla had initiated contact with the girl two years prior, by posing as a 15-year-old boy in a Disney online game, Club Penguin.

Over the next two years, Padilla began visiting the victim at her family home in Lompoc without the knowledge of her parents, convincing her to skip school and engage in sexual activity with him.

Padilla’s sentencing is set for May 8 in the Santa Maria Division of Santa Barbara Superior Court.

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