Transient man sentenced to prison for sexually assaulting Salinas girl

SALINAS, Calif. - A homeless man has been sentenced to eight years in prison for sexually assaulting a little girl at her school in Salinas.

According to the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office, 41-year-old Ralph Acosta Jr, was caught on surveillance grabbing an 8-year-old girl and sitting her on his lap while he touched her over her clothing. The incident occurred on December 14, in 2016 after school was over.  

Officials said normally the elementary school is locked up but it was partially open that day because of a book fair scheduled in the evening. The young girl and her sister were approached by Acosta, who motioned them over before the assault. The 8-year-old victim testified in court about what had happened to her.

Acosta had been found guilty of committing lewd acts on the child at a court trial in August of 2017.

The Monterey County District Attorney’s Office said, “After hearing from the victim’s family, Judge Liu imposed the maximum sentence of 8 years. The offense is a “strike” offense and he will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.”

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