A California man was sentenced to more than a millennium behind bars for repeatedly raping his daughter over the course of four years, authorities said.
In what has become the longest-known prison sentence in Fresno Superior Court history, 41-year-old Rene Lopez was condemned to 1,503 years in prison after he was found guilty in September of 186 felony counts of sexual assault, including dozens of counts of rape of a minor, the Fresno Bee reported.
From May 2009 to May 2013, Lopez raped his teenage daughter two to three times a week, including on Christmas and other holidays, officials said.
At one point, he impregnated her and paid for an abortion, Judge Edward Sarkisian, Jr. said.
The abuse came to an end only after the girl got the courage to leave her father, Fresno prosecutor Nicole Galstan said.
Lopez then drove to his daughter’s new home and left love songs on her voicemail, authorities said.
He was finally arrested in November 2013 after his daughter reported the abuse.
“He ruined her teenage years and made her feel like it was her fault,” Fresno prosecutor Nicole Galstan said, noting that the victim was first sexually abused by a family friend.
Instead of protecting his daughter, Lopez “chose to turn her into a piece of property and use her to satisfy his sexual needs,” the prosecutor told the judge.
Lopez’s daughter, now 23, reportedly spoke at his sentencing, saying her father — whom she is afraid of — has never shown remorse for what he did or for her pain and suffering.
“When my father abused me, I was young. I had no power, no voice. I was defenseless,” she said.
Lopez was silent as he sat shackled in the courtroom, never acknowledging his daughter.
Before his preliminary hearing, Lopez was offered 13 years in prison if he admitted his guilt, but he rejected the offer.
Lopez also rejected a second deal in which he would have served just 22 years in prison if he confessed to the crimes, but he said he should be released from jail for the time he already had served, the Bee wrote.
Sarkisian said that Lopez never showed remorse and has blamed his daughter for the situation he is in.
In a letter written to the judge, Lopez reportedly said he didn’t get a fair trial and that his daughter lied on the witness stand.
“It’s hearsay,” wrote Lopez, who did not testify at his trial.
But Sarkisian told him that he received a fair trial and that the evidence — including the victim’s testimony and entries from her diary which chronicled the abuse — was overwhelming.
In addition to his centuries-long prison sentence, Lopez must also register as a sex offender.
The punishment comes after recent high-profile sentencings in sexual assault cases criticized as too lenient, including the six-month prison sentence of ex-Stanford swimmer Brock Turner, and the 60-day stint for a Montana man found guilty of felony incest for raping his 12-year-old daughter.
“You are a courageous young woman,” Sarkisian told the woman, telling her father that he violated a position of trust, engaged in violent conduct and is a “serious danger to society.”