March 17, 2017
Humboldt County District Attorney Maggie Fleming announced that yesterday, Moises Camarillo Saldana, a 38-year-old former resident of Fortuna, pled guilty to committing sexual intercourse with a child ten years of age or younger and oral copulation of a child under 16 years, both felonies under California Penal Code Section 288. Saldana’s plea followed the powerful testimony of his 17-year-old daughter, who described the years of sexual abuse by Saldana that she had endured. After the guilty plea, Judge Miles sentenced Saldana to serve 28 years to life in prison, the maximum allowed.
Saldana abused his daughter when she was 9 to 14 years old. Education provided by teachers and others helped Saldana’s daughter understand her father had abused her and that she needed to tell someone. At 14 years of age she had the courage to face her fears – which included the fear of losing her family – and told her step-mother that she had been raped by her father.
Mr. Saldana has been in custody at the Humboldt County Correctional Facility since the crime was reported to the Fortuna Police Department in September 2014. Fortuna Police Officer Brian Taylor investigated the crimes with the assistance of the Child Abuse Services Team (“CAST”). Forensic Interviewer Jed Mefford conducted the interview of the child. District Attorney (DA) Investigator Kyla Baxley served as lead investigator throughout the case. DA Investigator Jack Bernstein also assisted in the investigation. The prosecutor in the case, Deputy District Attorney Stacey Eads, stated: “I greatly respect and appreciate the key witness in this case. Some measure of justice was achieved only because of her bravery and strength. I would also like to particularly recognize the efforts of DA Investigator Baxley, whose determination and exceptional abilities were critical to the outcome of the case.”