Thursday, October 9, 2008

Arturo Adame

A Santa Maria man convicted of sexually abusing a female relative for more than a decade has been sentenced to 126 years in prison.

Arturo Adame turned to his victim, clapped and smiled after receiving the sentence Wednesday, prompting Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge James Rigali to order bailiffs to immediately remove him from the courtroom.

Adame was convicted Sept. 3 of 13 felony counts, including forcible rape, sexual assault on a child under 14 and attempting to dissuade a witness from reporting a crime.

The victim, who is in her early 20s, testified during trial that she was sexually abused for 11 years.


The girl was nine years old when Arturo Adame asked her why she didn't want him to tickle her, said the woman who was once that little girl.

“He took me to the kitchen and said he was going to check me like the doctor did,” recounted the alleged victim of Adame's sexual abuse.

He then touched her genitals, the woman said.

“I was scared. I didn't know what he was doing,” said the alleged victim, a relative of Adame.

The scenario repeated itself for 11 years, as Adame continued to sexually abuse the girl throughout her teens and into her 20s, she testified Thursday during Adame's trial in Santa Barbara County Superior Court in Santa Maria.

The woman said Adame threatened her, including threats that he would abandon his wife and children, if she did not comply with his demands, as well as physically abusing her and maintaining strict control over her daily activities, including her classes at Hancock College.

The woman, now in her early 20s, was referred to in court as “Jane Doe” to protect her identity.

Adame, in his late 30s, of Santa Maria, has been charged by the Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Office with 13 felony counts consisting of forcible sex crimes, child molestation and attempting to dissuade a witness from reporting a crime.

The defendant's trial began Thursday with opening statements from attorneys, and Doe was the first witness to take the stand for the prosecution and the only witness to testify Thursday.

Chief Trial Deputy Ann Bramsen is the prosecuting attorney on the case.

Doe is scheduled to return to the witness stand this morning as Adame's attorney, Joseph Martinez, continues his cross-examination of her.

Martinez said during his opening statement that the evidence will show that no one saw anything untoward happen and there was no physical evidence of Adame sexually abusing Doe.

Martinez alleged that Doe and her mother were upset that Adame was having an affair with a woman he planned to marry.

Doe testified that Adame first had sexual intercourse with her when she was 11 or 12 years old. He took her to a hotel, she said, and raped her as she cried.

“He was really pushy and seemed to be getting angry,” she said.

She said she didn't tell anyone about the incident in the hotel. Doe felt “horrible,” “really scared,” and “helpless,” she said.

Doe said that Adame continued to rape her through the years, at first in a hotel or Adame's car, and later at a house.

Doe said she was fearful Adame would molest her younger sister, but he told her that he would not hurt the girl if Doe did what he said.

Adame was mean to her friends, so they stopped coming to the house, Doe said. However, her younger brother and sister had friends, she testified.

“He never got angry at them, the way he got angry at me,” Doe said, adding that he was angry because she refused to let him touch her.

The abuse continued until early 2007, Doe said.

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