On Friday, a California man received the longest-known prison sentence in Fresno Superior Court history. Prosecutors proved that his offenses stretched over four years, during which 41-year-old Rene Lopez raped his daughter multiple times per week. A jury found Lopez guilty of 186 felony counts of sexual assault (including rape of a minor), and the judge agreed with the prosecutor’s recommendation of a 1,503-year prison sentence.
During the sentencing phase of the trial, prosecutor Nicole Galstan told the court how the defendant turned his daughter into “a piece of property” from roughly May 2009 to May 2013. The ordeal continued until Lopez’s daughter gathered the courage to flee. She’s now 23 years old and told the court, “When my father abused me, I was young. I had no power, no voice. I was defenseless.” The victim also emphasized that her father never showed any remorse for his acts.
Lopez, who argued that he should go free on time served, previously had the chance to accept two different plea deals (which would have involved 13 or 22 years in prison) in exchange for admitting guilt. He refused. This case stands in contrast to two other high profile cases, including a 60-day jail sentence for a Montana father who repeatedly raped his 12-year-old daughter. Earlier this year, a judge in California sparked outrage for handing Stanford swimmer Brock Turner a six-month sentence, of which he served half.