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Man convicted of continuous child abuse

Jose Vasquez Prestegui was convicted on all nine counts of child molestation and continuous sexual abuse on two minor children in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

He will be sentenced on Aug. 27 and faces up to 135 years to life in prison.

Police arrested a Santa Barbara man accused of fondling a 5-year-old girl.

40-year-old Jose Vazquez Prestegui is charged with a felony count of committing a lewd act upon a child under the age of 14.

On August 26, 2012 at 3:30 p.m. police responded to a call of a child molestation investigation at an Eastside residence.

According to police, the five-year old girl was playing hide and seek at a friend’s house. She wandered into a living area where Prestegui was watching television and joined him.

Authorities say as Prestegui and the girl watched television, Prestegui fondled her through her clothing. She immediately told her 17-year old cousin, who subsequently told other adults in the house.

They confronted Prestegui about the child’s allegation and called the police. Prestegui then left the house. Police found Prestegui a short time later in the 400 block of N. Voluntario Street.

He was arrested and transported to the county jail where he was interviewed. In a disturbing revelation, investigators say Prestegui admitted to molesting the victim, stating that it was “like payback” for when he was molested as a child.

Prestegui was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail. His bail is set at $100,000.


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