Porterville child molester gets life behind bars
Tulare County Superior Court sentences a man to life in prison for various cases of child molestation in the Porterville area, which span over the course of nearly 20 years
VISALIA – Almost a month after he was found guilty of various child molestation charges against multiple victims, Fernando Abarca Barragan is spending his remaining days behind bars.
At the Visalia Division of the Tulare County Superior Court, the court sentenced Barragan, 56, to 226 years-to-life in prison for child molestation cases spanning from 1996 to 2014. In addition to his imprisonment, he was also given a lifetime sex offender registration. The Tulare County District Attorney’s office made the announcement on Sept. 6.
Last month on Aug. 8, a jury found Barragan guilty of twenty-two counts of lewd act upon a child under the age of fourteen and one count of lewd act upon a child aged fourteen or fifteen. The jury also found true the special allegation of substantial sexual conduct and that his crimes were committed against multiple victims. Each count is a felony and are considered strike offenses.
All the sexual assault crimes occurred in the Porterville area. According to the district attorney’s office, six of the crimes occurred between Jan. 1, 1996 and Sept. 2, 2002 against a female victim, who was between the ages of seven and 13 at the time of the sexual assaults.
Two of the crimes occurred between Feb. 5, 1998 and Feb. 4, 2005 against a male victim, who was between the ages of seven and nine at the time of the sexual assaults.
Twelve of the crimes occurred between Dec. 10, 2002 and Dec. 9, 2009 against a female victim, who was between the ages of seven and thirteen at the time of the sexual assaults. An additional crime against the same victim occurred between Dec. 10, 2009 and Dec. 9, 2011 when she was 14 to 15-years-old.
One of the crimes occurred between Nov. 14, 2010 and Nov. 13, 2014 against a female victim, who was between the ages of eight and ten at the time of the sexual assaults. Lastly, one of the crimes occurred between Jan. 1, 2007 and Dec. 31, 2008 against a female victim, who was between the ages of five and seven at the time of the sexual assaults.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Chelsea Wayt and investigated by the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office, as well as the District Attorney’s Office Bureau of Investigations.