MARTINEZ -- A Contra Costa County jury has convicted a 34-year-old Concord man of sexually abusing a teenage relative.
Cecilio Lara-Romero, a residential and commercial painter, was found guilty Wednesday of five counts of forcible sexual battery, two counts of assault with intent to commit rape, and three counts of false imprisonment, said Contra Costa Deputy District Attorney Chad Mahalich.
Lara-Romero groomed the girl for abuse for several years before he began sexually assaulting her in 2010, when she was 16, Mahalich said. He was arrested in June 2011, a few months after the victim disclosed to her mother what was happening to her.
"He had been in her life since is she was six years old. He treated her well back then, according to her. Things started to change when she entered puberty," Mahalich said.
Lara-Romero faces up to 18 years in state prison at his sentencing scheduled for late August.
Contact Malaika Fraley at 925-234-1684. Follow her at Twitter.com/malaikafraley.