SANTA ANA (CNS) – A 36-year-old man was convicted today of sexually assaulting two underage female relatives multiple times over several years in Anaheim.

Joel Guerrerojasso, who is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 27, faces a potential maximum penalty of 45 years to life in state prison, according to Deputy District Attorney Mena Guirguis.

The defendant was convicted of two counts of lewd or lascivious acts with a minor younger than 14, as well as one count each of lewd acts on a child ages 14 or 15 and forcible oral copulation, all felonies. Jurors also found true sentencing enhancements for multiple victims.

The oldest girl turned 17 just as the defendant was arrested in September of last year, Guirguis said. The other girl was 12.

The older girl “remembers her (relative) molesting and abusing her since she was 8 years old,” Guirguis said. “It started when she was in the third grade…and it never stopped.”

By the seventh grade, the defendant was also showing the girl pornographic videos on his phone while encouraging her to engage in sexual activity, he said.

Guerrerojasso would corner the girl when her mother was not around and even threatened to have her quinceanera party canceled if she didn’t comply with his sexual demands, Guirguis said.

He “held that (party) hostage” unless the girl would escalate the sexual activity, the prosecutor said.

When Guerrerojasso was arrested in September of last year, he “confessed” to trying to have sex with the two girls, Guirguis said.

The younger victim, however, denied “anything happened” when first questioned by social workers and police, he said.

In August of this year, however, investigators interviewed her again and she finally disclosed that she, too, was molested by” the defendant, Guirguis said.

Guerrerojasso’s attorney, Jay Moorhead, conceded that his client may have been guilty of some of the crimes, but not all of them. He told jurors at the onset of the trial to “listen to inconsistencies, vagaries as to times, places and details” when the girls testified.

Moorhead acknowledged his client made a “full confession” to police, but added, “Keep in mind the interview is done in English” and that the defendant speaks “broken English.”