A man who repeatedly raped his own daughter over four years was sentenced to 1,503 years in prison.
Rene Lopez, 41, was sentenced Friday to the longest-known prison sentence in Fresno Superior Court history, the Fresno Bee reported.
Judge Edward Sarkisian said Lopez was “a serious danger to society.”
The man's daughter was first sexually abused by a family friend but instead of protecting her, he turned her into "a piece of property," prosecutor Nicole Galstan said.
The girl was raped two to three times a week from May 2009 to May 2013, when the girl got the courage to leave him, Galstan said. But, even then, he would drive by her house and leave messages on her answering machine, the Bee reported.
At one point, the newspaper said, she became pregnant with her father’s child – and he paid for her to have an abortion.
“When my father abused me, I was young. I had no power, no voice. I was defenseless,” the daughter, now 23, said in court.
The young woman said her father never showed remorse for what he did to her.
A jury in September found him guilty of 186 felony counts of sexual assault, including dozens of counts of rape of a minor.
The man turned down two plea deals. Before his preliminary hearing, if he had admitted his guilt, prosecutors would have recommended 13 years in prison. He rejected the offer. Then before his trial, he was offered 22 years in prison if he admitted his guilt. He declined that offer, saying he should be released from jail for the time he already had served, Sarkisian said before announcing the sentence.
"He ruined her teenage years and made her feel like it was her fault," Galstan said in arguing for the maximum sentence.
The sentencing is in stark contrast to a recent case in Montana, where a man who raped his 12-year-old daughter was not sent to prison. Instead the judge handed down a 30-year suspended sentence after the man pleaded guilty to incest and ordered him to spend 60 days in jail, giving him credit for 17 days already served.
Based on reporting by The Associated Press.