Child’s testimony yields life sentence

SANTA BARBARA — In September 2009, 35-year-old German Acosta was found guilty of aggravated sexual assault, forcible lewd acts upon a child, and another lewd and lascivious act not by force. The victim and chief prosecution witness in the determination of the three felony convictions was Acosta’s own 12-year-old niece.

On Tuesday, Acosta received a sentence of 15 years to life by Superior Court Judge Brian Hill, who made his ruling despite a lack of physical or forensic evidence during Acosta’s trial.

According to his niece’s graphic courtroom testimony, on July 27, 2008, Acosta, an occasional houseguest in his brother’s home, entered the girl’s bedroom at 6 a.m. and awakened his niece by touching her thigh. He is alleged to have then disrobed and attempted anal intercourse upon her. According to prosecution testimony, he then left the bedroom, returned, performed vaginal intercourse and subsequently masturbated into her hand. He then gave his niece $20 in cash and left the room.

No physical evidence was found to support the victim’s testimony, and Acosta admitted to awakening the girl by touching her leg so that he could give her $20 to attend Santa Barbara’s annual Fiesta that weekend.

With no biological evidence found or suggested by the prosecution, jury deliberations at trial balanced entirely upon the testimony of the victim, then age 12.

Defense attorney Ben Bycel offered no comment following the March 9 sentencing, other than to express his intention to immediately file an appeal and express dismay at California’s legislatively mandated sentencing guidelines.

Child’s testimony yields life sentence was last modified: July 17th, 2012 by admin
Categories: Santa Barbara

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Robert L. McCullough

Bob McCullough is a television and screen writer-producer who has worked for every major television network and film studio with more than 200 produced credits. Bob has recently co-authored “Where Hollywood Hides: Santa Barbara”, a hardcover book featuring a wide range of film, television, and music industry celebrities living on the Central Coast. His weekly iTunes podcast about “all things Hollywood” can be heard at