MAN SENTENCED TO 202 YEARS TO LIFE FOR MOLESTING TWO CHILDREN

News from the Office of District Attorney George Gascón

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 1, 2016

@GeorgeGascon

CONTACT: 
      ALEX BASTIAN (415) 553-1931
                           MAX SZABO (415) 553-9089
 
MAN SENTENCED TO 202 YEARS TO LIFE FOR MOLESTING TWO CHILDREN
 
SAN FRANCISCO – Today, Jose Melara, age 42, of San Francisco, was sentenced to 202 years to life for 21 counts of intercourse, sodomy, oral copulation, and molestation involving two girls who were four years old at the time their victimization began.  The court also ordered the defendant to pay restitution totaling $1,027,129 to the two victims.  Today’s sentencing follows a trial that lasted nearly three months.
 
“The fear and trauma these children endured is impossible to quantify,” said District Attorney George Gascón.  “These children demonstrated an immense amount of strength to come forward, and we will continue to assist them as they focus on recovering.”
 
According to court records, Mr. Melara is the uncle of one of the victims and the cousin of the other.  During the course of the trial his niece recounted five years of molestation, oral copulation, intercourse and sodomy that began the very first day her family and her uncle moved into the San Francisco house they would share.  Later, Mr. Melara would drop off his wife, his children, and the victim’s other siblings at their school before driving the victim a short distance and committing sexual acts on her inside his van, and then bringing her back to school.  By the summer of 2013, the victim, overwhelmed by the trauma she had endured, found the courage to confide in her family members.
 
Melara’s other victim was his cousin who was also molested at the age of four.  Melara abused her by showing her pornographic films before committing sexual acts on her.  By chance the victim’s mother caught him assaulting her daughter.
 
“A now eleven year old girl faced her uncle in front of a jury and recounted the horror that she experienced over the course of half a decade,” said Assistant District Attorney Alexis Feigen Fasteau.  “Her bravery led to these convictions, ensuring Mr. Melara will never have another victim.”
 
At sentencing today multiple victims provided victim impact statements before the Honorable Ethan Schulman.  This successful prosecution would not have been possible without the excellent work of San Francisco Police Department Sergeants Jennifer Hennessey Jones and Esther Gonzalez, as well as District Attorney Investigator Molly Braun, Victim Witness Advocates Christine Ticas and Patricia Barragan, as well as Paralegal Nina Stellini. Assistant District Attorney Alexis Feigen Fasteau prosecuted the case.