“This brave little girl carried the burden of this abuse silently for years. Hopefully, this verdict will release some of that burden and she can begin to heal."
COBB COUNTY, Ga. -- Two men accused of repeatedly raping a young girl have been sentenced to life in prison.
According to Cobb County District Attorney Vic Reynolds, Mario Esteban Sanchez, now 58, allegedly repeatedly attacked the girl at his Marietta apartment. The attacks began when the girl was just 5, prosecutors alleged.
“This brave little girl carried the burden of this abuse silently for years. Hopefully, this verdict will release some of that burden and she can begin to heal,” said Deputy Chief ADA Chuck Boring.
The child, now 12, disclosed the abuse to a cousin years after the attacks, prosecutors said.
Last month, a jury found Sanchez guilty.
“This Defendant is guilty of horrible, deviant behavior,” said Deputy Chief ADA Chuck Boring, who prosecuted the case. “A man who commits such atrocious acts against a child has forfeited his right to live in free society.”
Judge Henry Thompson sentenced Sanchez to life in prison.
“I cannot wrap my mind around the concept of a grown man wanting to have sex with a five-year-old girl,” Judge Thompson said. “To pick your gratification over the damage being done to that little girl is inhumane, heartless … beyond that, it is soulless. Ideally, you’ve lived your last free day.”
Back in January, another man, 33-year-old Marcio Rogelio Cartagena, pleaded guilty to rape and aggravated child molestation against the same child, Reynolds said. Cartagena was a friend of the girl's family and allegedly began the attacks when the girl was 5.
Cartagena was sentenced to life, with 18 years to serve in prison.
Marietta Police investigated both cases.
© 2017 WXIA-TV