Santa Paula Times

Llamas sentenced to 48 years to life for serial child molestations

January 25, 2012
Santa Paula News

A 41-year-old Santa Paula man could be in prison for the rest of his life for the ongoing sexual abuse of three young female relatives, Ventura County District Attorney’s Greg Totten announced Friday.

David Llamas was sentenced January 20 by Superior Court Judge Patricia Murphy to 48 years and eight months to life in prison, prosecutors said. 

Llamas was found guilty by a jury in December of raping a child under 14, continuously sexually abusing a child under 14, and committing lewd acts on a child, according to Totten’s statement. Llamas had pleaded not guilty to the charges that involved girls he was related to by marriage and one girl that was part of his larger extended family.

At Llamas’ trial, one relative testified he began to sexually abuse her when she was 7 years old and continued until the abuse was reported in 2010, when she was 16. Another girl testified he sexually abused her from the time she was 4 or 5 until she was 14, officials said. That abuse also continued until 2010, when Llamas’ conduct was reported to Santa Paula Police. A third girl, a member of Llamas’ extended family, testified he abused her from the time she was 7 until she was 10, prosecutors said.

According to Detective Sgt. Ishmael Cordero, Llamas was arrested on April 13, 2010 after the abuse “came to light through a school counselor” that one of the girls told of the molestations. “The girl had gone in there basically seeking help,” and the school contacted Child Protective Services (CPS); in turn CPS contacted police. 

“We started our investigation the same day” by first interviewing the girl, who was “very detailed and articulate in telling us what happened to her.” The girl underwent further interviews and was medically examined, establishing more evidence against Llamas.

Investigators found there were more victims and that Llamas had threatened each girl by telling them he would molest their other children in the family if they did not submit to the abuse, and told them not to tell anyone about it. “The older girl was afraid he was going to molest the next one in line, not knowing that the younger girl was already being abused... and during the investigation we discovered a third victim, another young relative who had been molested.”

Cordero said the girls had tried to get help, and each had told their mother that they were being molested. “My experience has been when relatives are accused they don’t want to believe it and are in denial. In this case it was the mother who was in denial and doubted the daughters,” whose attacker had been taking them to a trailer on a ranch he worked at to molest the victims.  

When the SPPD told the victims’ mother there was no doubt Llamas had been molesting numerous girls, she contacted her husband - without the knowledge of investigators - and told Llamas police wanted to contact him. “He told her he would wait for us on the side of the roadway” at the ranch where he worked, but when officers arrived Llamas had left the scene.

Llamas was found at the Ventura County Government Center, where he had gone to turn himself in to jail. Cordero said at first Llamas “denied everything, but then he admitted” to some actions; but he did not fully confess his behavior.

During the years of being molested the girls were having problems at school, a common reaction to sexual abuse. Cordero said, “It’s sad that an entire family was victimized overall by one person’s doings.” 

If Llamas serves the 48 years and eight months in prison, he would be almost 90 years old when released.