On November 14, 2019, Jeanne Schechter sentenced Felipe Rubalcaba to 61 years to life in prison for sexually molesting four children over the span of several years, according to the Merced County District Attorney’s Office.

On September 23, 2019, a Merced County jury found Felipe Rubalcaba, a 65-year-old man from El Nido, guilty of four counts of lewd and lascivious acts on three children under the age of 14, and guilty of one count of continuous sexual abuse on a fourth child under the age of 14.

In October of 2015, the first victim, then an adult, came forward to report the repeated sexual abuse the defendant inflicted on her from ages five to 13. The Merced County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) Detectives Bureau began investigating the case.

After learning that the first victim found the strength to come forward, three more victims subsequently reported to MCSO Detective Zyskowski that they too had been molested by the defendant. The abuse happened at the defendant’s home in El Nido, where he had recurring access to the children.

At trial, all four victims bravely testified before the jury about the defendant molesting them as children. The jury also heard a recorded phone call between one of the victims and the defendant, in which the defendant failed to deny inappropriately touching that victim.

Deputy District Attorney Katie Gates prosecuted the case. At sentencing, one of the victims made a statement to the court about how the defendant’s actions have impacted her throughout her entire life. She told Judge Schechter: “He violated my sense of security, my sense of safety, and my sense of self.” Judge Schechter sentenced the defendant to 61 years to life in prison.