HAMILTON, Ohio (AP) - A man captured in Mexico and then convicted for kidnapping and raping a 9-year-old Ohio girl has been given 3 life sentences with the possibility of parole.
A Butler County jury in Hamilton found Alfredo Lopez Cruz guilty last month of one count of kidnapping and four counts of rape.
The now-teenage girl testified that he grabbed her off her bicycle in 2005, took her inside a house and repeatedly sexually assaulted her.
Mexican and U.S. authorities worked together to take Lopez Cruz into custody last year after he fled to Mexico before he could be indicted.
"Even though it took six years to find him law enforcement never gave up. When they told me in May that they had him it was an answer to prayer," said the girl's father. "Her faith continued to remain strong all the time this was going on. She never wavered."
The case caused unrest that included vandalizing and burning a Hamilton house where Lopez Cruz was believed to have stayed.
Lopez Cruz will be up for parole in 10 years.