Rodolfo Cendejas certainly fits the pattern of a serial sexual abuser, as one family understands all too well.
According to the 18th Judicial District DA's office, Cendejas, 48, molested a young Aurora girl who'd barely reached her teens, before moving on to her younger sister -- and then committing the same heinous acts with an even more junior sibling.
Now, at last, the abuse is over, and Cendejas faces a sentence of up to life in prison. The shocking details below.
The DA's office maintains that Cendejas assaulted the first victim when she was only thirteen. However, she resisted his advances so vigorously that he turned to someone even less capable of defending herself -- the girl's younger sister, then age nine.
Cendejas is said to have forced the nine year old to have sex with him on numerous occasions over the course of more than a year, until she was finally able to force an end to the offenses.
Unfortunately, there was still one more sister in the family -- a girl who'd just turned ten. Her abuse at Cendejas's hands lasted for two years, until May 2012, she finally revealed what he'd been doing to her. Shortly thereafter, the authorities moved in.
At trial, Cendejas didn't acknowledge all three claims. He copped only to sexually assaulting the third sister, insisted that he'd only fondled the second one, and denied doing anything to the oldest of the trio. But a jury still found him guilty regarding fifteen counts of sexual assault on a child/pattern of abuse, plus seventeen more related charges.
District Attorney George Brauchler's statement about the verdict goes beyond boilerplate language to register both disgust and contempt for Cendejas.
"I am sickened that this so-called man, Rodolfo Cendejas, destroyed three little girls' childhoods," he's quoted as saying. "They were physically and emotionally traumatized for years, and then had to come into a courtroom full of strangers and relive and describe the years of molestation and suffering.
"They were very brave," he added. "Our system cannot replace or restore what Cendejas has stolen to satisfy his disgusting urges. But our system can work to ensure that Cendejas will never again victimize other children in our community."
That appears to be a call for harsh punishment in the case, inspired by the wide range of potential punishment that can be meted out at his sentencing, slated for October -- from as few as eight years in stir to as many as 540. Given the tone of Brauchler's remarks, he clearly hopes the judge opts for something in the neighborhood of the latter, so that the sisters never need fear Cendejas will walk the streets ever again.
Here's a larger look at his booking photo.
More from our Colorado Crimes archive circa March 2012: "David Tarver gets 88 years to life for molesting his own children -- and more."
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