(BCN) — A 34-year-old Salinas man will spend the next 15 years in state prison after being convicted for forcible lewd acts on a child under 14 years of age, according to the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office Friday.

Jorge Ramirez Cruz previously pleaded no contest to two counts of forcible lewd acts upon a child. Cruz’s current convictions qualify as serious strikes under California’s Three Strikes law, and he will be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

In October 2021, one of Cruz’s victims, suffering from emotional hardship because of the abuse, journaled about those feelings using school-issued equipment. The school received an “alert” upon which they promptly acted in contacting the victim and law enforcement officials.

The district attorney’s office said that through a diligent investigation, officers and detectives discovered a second victim with whom Cruz had access and abused. The victims showed great courage in coming forward.

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They prepared written statements for sentencing, letting the court know how Cruz’s crimes impacted them and their family.

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