Crime

Santa Maria man sentenced in child molestation case

Both victims were under 16 years old

Santa Maria man sentenced in child...

SANTA MARIA, Calif. - Holding back tears, the mom of one of the victims of Gerald Gault spoke to us outside of the Santa Barbara County Courthouse. Gault molested her daughter when she was 14. She asked us to conceal her identity.

"He had been alone with her and had made a move to touch her in places that he shouldn't and thankfully my daughter has been taught to speak out immediately so she told us immediately. [When she told us,] it destroyed all of us - we just couldn't believe it and wrap our brains around it but we never once questioned my daughter," the mother tells us. 

She says her daughter has special needs and would not be able to lie about such an event. "You know it's more of the mentality of a five year old or six year old so I have to watch her and I thought we were safe," she explains. 

Part of Gault's family feels differently however, even purposefully trying to shield our cameras from getting video of Gault walking out of the courthouse.

"A lot or even a majority of the family members feel that he was innocent and in the end, a compromise was reached where he would get out of a jail and be able to go home in exchange for a plea," says Addison Steele, the defense attorney for Gerald Gault. 

While Gault is now out on five years probation, he has a restraining order from the victims and will have to register as a sex offender. The mothers of Jane Doe One and Two say their daughters will continue to live in fear not only for themselves but for other children as well.

"He is going to be out and in this community and he will not be on Megan's Law for a number of weeks and that's a danger," one of the victim's moms tells us. 

This isn't Gault's first run-in with the law, when he was a teenager he was part of a landmark Supreme Court case for the 14th Amendment extending to juveniles. 


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