A man accused of sodomizing and molesting his then-8-year-old daughter was held over Friday on the charges, which carry a life sentence.
Isaias Felix Romero, 33, impregnated his now-wife when she was 13
. They married after he pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. The child from the pregnancy is now a 9-year-old in the fourth grade and the alleged victim of Romero
. She will be referred to as Jane Doe.
The alleged abuse came to light in mid-August, when the victim’s grandmother alerted authorities.
Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Diana Freese testified Friday that the grandmother first learned of the alleged molestation through a family friend.
When Freese and Detective Troy Garey conducted a “soft” interview with the girl, she had trouble talking, but said her father had touched her “all over,” Freese said. Because the victim felt more comfortable talking with a woman, Garey stepped out of the room, leaving the girl and Freese to talk.
After breaking down into tears, Jane Doe told Freese her father would come into her room at night and sodomize her as she pretended to be asleep.
In a later CAST interview, which was recorded, Jane Doe first spoke about being physically abused by her parents. She said they’d hit her with a belt and occasionally a sandal when she didn’t do homework or chores perfectly or said something her father didn’t like.
“I’d have to do everything perfectly or I’d get smacked,” she said in the report. The multiple incidents left bruises, she said.
When the CAST interviewer tried to elicit information from Jane Doe, the girl relayed she’d been molested and that the last time had been a month-and-a-half before. She knew because she tracked the days she wasn’t touched on a calendar
, the report stated.
The alleged molestation began in April 2008 and lasted through early July 2008.
The report stated that Jane Doe said she told her mother on several occasions about the molestation, but wasn’t believed.
“I said, ‘He came into my bed at night and touched me,’ but she didn’t believe me; she believed him,” she said.
Her mother at one point found what appeared to be semen in the girl’s underwear and confronted her husband about it, but he denied it.