BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — She knows what to expect when she goes to sleep. She’ll once again feel his hands on her. She’ll smell his hot breath in her face. The sexual abuse she suffered as a child from Jaime Mora continues to haunt her, the woman said Wednesday during Mora’s sentencing hearing in Kern County Superior Court. “Most nights the nightmares take over, making themselves permanent residents in my mind,” the woman said.
Following her comments, Judge Gregory A. Pulskamp sentenced Mora to consecutive prison terms of 15 years to life on two counts of committing a sex act with a child 10 or younger. He also sentenced Mora to a 12-year term to be served concurrently on a charge of continuous sexual abuse of a child. A jury convicted him on the three charges in June. It could not reach a verdict on a fourth charge filed in connection with an alleged second victim.
Mora defense attorney Kyle J. Humphrey noted his client’s prison term is similar to punishment handed down on a murder conviction. The victim’s life in this case has changed, but it’s not over, he said. Options other than putting someone away for life should be considered for “high-functioning offenders” who can benefit from counseling and aren’t likely to reoffend, Humphrey said.
In response, prosecutor Nick Lackie said in some ways child molestation can be worse than murder. The victim’s suffering never goes away, he said.
The allegations against the 55-year-old Mora surfaced in September 2019 when a woman told police her daughter had come forward after another relative, now in her 30s, alleged Mora molested her when she was a teenager. The daughter said she was 4 when Mora made her watch pornographic videos and asked her inappropriate questions about her body, according to court documents. She told police he repeatedly sexually abused her during the next few years, and gave her candy to keep her quiet.
Police arrested Mora following a phone call recorded by investigators in which he admitted to the abuse and asked the woman for forgiveness. Before the woman spoke Tuesday, Pulskamp ordered that she not be identified by media. KGET typically does not identify victims of sexual assault, unless they go public. The woman said Mora continues to deny responsibility. He has ignored the pain he has caused her and her family, she told the court. And she said that pain isn’t going away. “I will forever live with the consequences of what he did to me,” she said.