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56-year-old man sexually assaults 3 nieces for 7 years

By Mason White 5:42 PM August 12, 2015
Daniel Cortez Bernal 

By: Mahesh Sarin
A man will be behind bars for the rest of his life for sexually assaulting 3 of his nieces.

56-year-old Daniel Cortez Bernal of San Bernardino, California, was sentenced to 158 years in state prison for abusing his nieces.

A jury convicted Bernal of 12 felony counts of sex abuse at the Victorville Superior Court, ending a 4 year legal battle that involved three young victims.

Bernal was convicted of 2 counts of forced oral copulation and 7 counts of lewd acts with a child, 1 count of continuous sexual abuse of a child in connection with another niece, and 1 count of lewd act with a child for fondling a 3rd niece.

He was also convicted of felony evading police after leading officers on a high-speed chase when they wanted to arrest him.

According to testimony during a 7 day trial, Bernal sexually assaulted one family member two to three times a week from when she was between 6 and 13 years old while she lived with him in Garden Grove.

The victim told someone at her school about the abuse, prompting an investigation by the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office.

When officers tried to stop Bernal, he led them on a high-speed chase before attempting to jump off a bridge.

Bernal allegedly confessed to molesting the girl. After the arrest, the two other victims came forward.