THE BLOG

Stepfather Rapes Severely Disabled Girl -- Angry California Prosecutors Want Tougher Laws

08/30/2013 05:29 pm ET | Updated Oct 30, 2013

He cared for her and assisted his wife in helping with her severely disabled 14-year-old daughter. According to prosecutors, the girl was physically, mentally and developmentally disabled. She couldn't walk or talk. But that didn't stop 27-year-old Carlos Mesinas from brutally raping her. For his own perverted pleasure, he videotaped the crime.

Sacramento County (Calif.) Deputy District Attorney Amy Holliday was outraged by the act. The jury that convicted him had to watch the graphic, torturous video of the rape of the teen who couldn't fight back.

"You actually could see the damage that was inflicted and heard the victim screaming over and over in obvious, horrible pain," Holliday said.

Mesinas was found guilty and sentenced August 26 to 11 years in prison. But that's not good enough for outraged prosecutors. Under California's penal code, Mesinas could only get the 11 years because he did not commit the rape during a burglary; tie her up or restrain her; use a weapon or drug her. He didn't have to. He did it in his house in her bedroom. She couldn't fight back because she couldn't due to her disability.

That's where Holliday wants things to change. She wants a California lawmaker to introduce a bill that would have stiffer enhancements and punishments for the sexual assault of a disabled person unable to defend themselves.

"Because of the victim's vulnerability, she's unable to move, unable to speak, unable to defend herself in any way. The defendant did not have to employ any of those tactics that you often see in a forcible rape case in order to subdue a victim," Holliday said.

The girl is now 16 and her mother feels betrayed. She's a single mom with two younger children who thought her husband was helping with the kids as she worked night jobs. She's the one who found the June 14, 2012, video-taped assault on her husband's cell phone.

I talked with Holliday. She is not only crusading for a tougher law. She wants to help the family. She's looking to get a specialized wheelchair and maybe financial aid for the family who have been left with legal costs. "Destinations Mobility" is now collecting funds for a wheelchair-accessible van at www.destinationsmobility.com.