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Santa Maria man sentenced to life in prison for sexual assault

Gavel (FILE)
Posted at 7:15 PM, Feb 08, 2022

Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce E. Dudley announced the sentencing of a Santa Maria man who was found guilty in a sexual assault case.

Robert Contreras, 44, was sentenced on January 24 to 50 years to life in prison. A Santa Maria jury found Contreras guilty of three counts of forcible sexual assault and five counts of felony assault. The jury also found true the special allegations that the defendant tortured and used a deadly weapon when he forcibly sexually assaulted the victim.

Deputy District Attorney Catherine Martin presented evidence that over a five day period in 2019, the defendant beat the victim with a tennis racket, an extension cord, and a vacuum tube while sexually assaulting her, inflicting blunt force trauma over her entire body.

During the trial, the victim testified and described the physical and psychological harm she endured as a result of the defendant's sexual and physical abuse.

According to the DA's office, in a written victim impact statement, she described her journey and recovery in becoming a survivor of domestic violence. "Her bravery in reporting the abuse and courage in testifying at trial directly resulted in the jury's verdict."