Man gets 401 years for beating, raping girlfriend and her daughters
By Reggie Ellis @Reggie_SGN
VISALIA – It’s too bad Macario Cerda can’t live forever, because it would have been the only prison sentence worthy of the punishment for his crimes. Already 39 years old, the man who kidnapped, raped, and impregnated his girlfriend’s 13-year-old daughter will unfortunately die long before he serves out his four century sentence.
On Jan. 17, Tulare County Superior Court Judge Kathryn Montejano sentenced Cerda to 401 years-to-life in prison for numerous violent sex crimes. On Dec. 4, 2018, a jury convicted Cerda of crimes against both of his girlfriend’s daughters consisting of three counts of forcible rape, one count of kidnapping to commit rape, one count of criminal threats, and seven counts of lewd acts upon a child under the age of fourteen. Cerda has prior convictions for felony domestic violence and criminal threats against the girls’ mother.
Behind the closed doors of this family, the women and girls suffered greatly from the ongoing and horrific violence at the hands of Cerda.
On Feb. 26, 2013, Cerda, while still in a relationship with the mother, forced the eldest daughter into his van and drove her to a remote location. He raped her while threatening to harm other members of her family. During the rape, the victim’s mother called her cell phone and overheard yelling. She immediately called the police. When Cerda temporarily exited the van, the victim seized her opportunity to escape by jumping into the driver’s seat and driving away.
Cerda was later arrested by Tulare County Sheriff’s deputies. During the investigation it was revealed that the daughter had been raped by Cerda when she was just 13 years old in 2010, resulting in a pregnancy and birth of a baby. The victim’s younger sister also disclosed that Cerda had raped and abused her beginning in 2009 when she was also a child.
During the heartfelt and passionate victim’s impact statement, the youngest victim spoke about Cerda’s many crimes against the women and children in her family. She bravely described his actions, such as holding a knife to her sister’s throat and all the ramifications of his sex crimes by starting every description of each act with the words “I forgive you for…”
Her capacity to find forgiveness for a man who so terrorized a family is nothing short of remarkable, but she also cautioned the judge to “never grant him any possibility at being deported because he has crawled his way back into the States illegally way too many times.” The record did reflect that after his prior conviction, Cerda had been deported and returned within five months. Soon after that, these crimes were committed.
“This family will never have to live in fear of Cerda returning to terrorize them again. He will be serving his remaining days in a California prison,” stated District Attorney Tim Ward. “Criminals can, and will, find their way back to hurt the vulnerable. The courage of these women to stand up and rally back against this heartless predator is what gives all of us strength to battle for justice. This time, he is not coming back.”
This case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Erica Gonzalez and investigated by Detective Esmeralda Ramos of the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office.