(BCN) — A Salinas man has been sentenced to 28 years in prison for sexually assaulting two family members for years, Monterey County prosecutors said.

Marco Ramirez Serna, 51, was sentenced last week after being convicted of two counts of forcible lewd acts upon a child under 14 years old and one count of lewd act upon a child under 14 years old, the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release Tuesday.

Prosecutors said that Serna began sexually assaulting a female family member when she was 6 years old. According to the victim, Serna would wait for her mother to go to work before he sexually abused her, and this went on for four years.

When the victim finally reported the sexual assault to her mother, another family member also disclosed that Serna also abused her for two years, since she was in fourth grade, prosecutors said.

Both victims initially kept Serna’s sexual abuse secret because he was a family member who “they loved and trusted”, prosecutors said.

According to the District Attorney’s Office, all three of Serna’s charges are violent felonies and considered “strikes” under California’s Three Strikes law. He will be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, prosecutors said.

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