Musician Cecilio Rodriguez began serving his one-year jail sentence Friday after pleading no contest to sexually assaulting two sisters in Los Angeles.
Rodriguez, 67, appeared at the Los Angeles County Court Friday morning to begin serving his 365-day jail time. On Jan. 27, Rodriguez pleaded no contest to charges he sexually abused two young sisters in Carson, Calif. in the 1990s.
Rodriguez, one half of the famous music duo, Cecilio and Kapono, is charged with molesting the girls who were 7 and 8 years old at the time. The victims, now 21 and 23 years old, had wanted a tougher sentence for the man they said was a family friend, but were glad the ordeal was over.
"It was a really difficult time for me and my sister to come forward, especially being close to him for so long. But now this has been brought to justice, we feel a lot more closure and it's brought us closer as sisters, and a family, as well," said Korin. The victims asked that only their first names be used.
During the time the sisters said they were sexually abused, Rodriguez was on probation for a 1994 attempted sexual assault charge of a girl on the Big Island.
"I hope that us coming forward, even though it was really hard for us, especially because he was so close to our family, that it encourages other victims that have experienced with him, or with anybody, to come forward," said Kayla.
Rodriguez had been out on $200,000 bail. Accompanied by his sister and a family friend, Rodriguez surrendered to county sheriffs. Without saying a word in court, he immediately was taken to the Los Angeles County Jail to begin his one-year sentence.
"He's looking at serving, hopefully, approximately 85 percent of that time," said Adrian Roxas, deputy district attorney of the Compton branch victim impact program.
Rodriguez was also sentenced to five years probation and has been ordered to complete 52 weeks of sex offender counseling. He's also required to register as a sex offender. Rodriguez will serve his sentence in California. If he violates his probation, he faces completing the six-year prison term.