A former cheerleading coach was sentenced to more than six years in prison for locking himself into a room a female colleague and sexually assaulting her during a cruise from Long Beach to Mexico, federal authorities announced today.
Anthony Paul De La Torriente, a 30-year-old from Simi Valley, assaulted the woman in the summer of 2015, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Central District of California.
“De La Torriente volunteered to stay alone in the victim’s cabin with the victim, whose severe intoxication from a daytime excursion in Ensenada had worried their colleagues,” prosecutors said in a news release. “Once alone with the victim, while the colleagues were away getting food on the cruise ship, De La Torriente sexually assaulted her.”
When they returned from getting food, the cabin door was locked from the inside, prosecutors said. When De La Torriente eventually unlocked it, the victim said he’d attacked her, according to authorities.
Investigators found De La Torriente’s DNA on the woman’s body and her DNA on the inside and outside of De La Torriente’s underwear, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.
In February, De La Torriente was convicted on one count of sexual abuse and one count of abusive sexual contact.
“I hope that the fact that a jury of peers believed her provides some comfort,” Judge Dale S. Fischer said as he handed down the sentence Monday. “I believe her too.”
In addition to 78 months in federal prison, Fischer also ordered De La Torriente to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
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