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Story by Sandy Kromeir - The Oregon Herald
Published on Wednesday December 21, 2011 - 1:12 PM
 
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SALEM, Oregon - A man convicted of raping two girls beginning when they were 11 was sentenced in Salem to more than 170 years in prison.

Marion County Deputy District Attorney Matt Kemmy says the sentence handed to 38-year-old Juan De Dios Cruz-Rojas earlier this month means he'll likely die in prison.

That is, unless he has a very long life span.

Kemmy said Cruz-Rojas repeatedly raped and sexually abused the two girls. Both girls were about 11 when the abuse began. The girls, now 16 and 19, testified during trials earlier this month. He said during the sentencing hearing that Cruz-Rojas one time threw something at one of the girls' heads as she was trying leave; another time he punched one of the girls as he was raping her. One of the girls became pregnant as the result of a rape, Kemmy said.

"It's disgusting the lives he's hurt and created, and he did it without any remorse," Kemmy said. "He made a little girl into a mother while she was still a child. He didn't do it consensually; he did it by rape."

It was the longest sentence in at least 10 years for a sex crime in Marion County.

Cruz-Rojas, who is in the United States illegally, also was convicted of kidnapping and other charges for attacks on the girls that took place at a farm near Salem.

Kemmy says one of the girls became pregnant as a result of a rape and became a mother while she was still a child.