California man who impregnated girlfriend's 11-year-old daughter after raping her over 90 times gets 230 years

Deon Austin Welch, 30, will be spending the rest of his life behind bars after a Riverside County Superior Judge handed down the maximum possible sentence on Friday


                            California man who impregnated girlfriend's 11-year-old daughter after raping her over 90 times gets 230 years

HEMET, CALIFORNIA: A Hemet man who was convicted of raping his girlfriend's 11-year-old daughter for more than a year and impregnating her has been sentenced to 230 years in prison.

Riverside County Superior Judge Bernard Schwartz handed down the maximum possible sentence to Deon Austin Welch, 30, on Friday, August 9, according to the Press-Enterprise.

"If a defendant ever deserved a maximum sentence, in a case such as this, Mr. Welch deserves it," Schwartz told Welch during his sentencing hearing.

He also informed the 30-year-old that he would have to register as a sex offender in the scenario that a future law allows him to walk free before serving his full sentence. 

Welch was first arrested in March 2017 after the victim gave birth that year, and a DNA test proved that he was the father of the child. 

As the case moved to trial, the gruesome details of the 30-year-old's crimes emerged.

Prosecutors alleged that he first began preying on the girl in 2014, when she was 11-years-old, and that the sexual assaults continued until 2016.

Deputy District Attorney Sean Oswill said Welch started by groping the young girl when her mother, whom he was dating and with who he lived, was out of the apartment or asleep.

The molestation then escalated to forced rape and sodomy, he said.

Court documents indicate that the victim complained about Welch as early as March 2014 and that this led to an investigation and interview with the county forensic examiner.

She alleged that she had been "raped multiple times by the defendant," but a subsequent medical exam proved inconclusive after her mother reportedly interrupted and interfered with the process.

Oswill said the criminal investigation against Welch was stopped after the young girl's mother told Hemet Police that he was no longer living with them and that he had moved south of the border.

However, in October 2014, during an interview with a Department of Public Services caseworker, the victim said that Welch had returned to the apartment.

Oswill said that, instead of taking action, the DPSS had the 30-year-old sign off on a "safety plan" they had drafted that asked him to assist in the supervision of the victim.

In June 2016, it was found that the victim was three months pregnant, and she told police that he had been "raped at least 90 times by the defendant."

Her mother later admitted that her daughter may have attempted to tell her that Welch was sexually assaulting her, but that she either could not recall it or tried to "block it out."

In June 2018, she pleaded guilty to child abuse, perjury, and accessory to a felony and was sentenced to a year in jail and four years probation.

Then, this past June, a Riverside jury took less than three hours to convict Welch of 16 counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child. 

The victim was also awarded $10 million in a settlement after a guardian who was assigned to her initiated a lawsuit against the Department of Public Social Services and the county on her behalf.

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