gavel.jpgA 68-year-old man convicted for sexually abusing a young family member was the first child molestation defendant ever ordered in San Francisco to pay restitution for non-economic damages to the victim as part of his sentence on Friday, prosecutors said today.

Ricardo Asturias, 68, was convicted in October and sentenced Friday in San Francisco Superior Court to 16 years and eight months in prison, along with having to pay $625,000 in restitution to the victim, according to the district attorney’s office.

Asturias was the first child molestation defendant ever ordered by a San Francisco judge to pay restitution for non-economic damages, defined as pain, suffering or emotional distress, district attorney’s office spokeswoman Stephanie Ong Stillman said.

The state’s penal code was changed in 1996 to allow for restitution to victims in felony child molestation cases, Stillman said.

Asturias had been accused of repeatedly sexually abusing the family member, starting in January 2008 when she was 4 years old and ending in October 2010, prosecutors said.

After the victim’s mother told police about the allegations, investigators obtained computers belonging to Asturias and found nearly 1,000 images of child pornography, prosecutors said.

The victim testified against Asturias during the trial, as well as his two biological children who said he also sexually abused them more than 30 years ago, according to the district attorney’s office.

A jury deliberated for just 45 minutes on Oct. 23 before finding Asturias guilty of sexually abusing a minor and possessing child pornography, both felonies, prosecutors said.

As part of the sentence, he will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

“While this unprecedented sentence does not take away the years of abuse the victim endured, we hope it sends a powerful message that San Francisco will punish those who abuse vulnerable children,” District Attorney George Gascon said in a statement.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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