crimesider

Calif. Farm Worker Admits to Child Sex, Trying to Bury 4-Year-Old Girl Alive

(AP Photo, file)
Man Pleads Guilty to Child Sex, Burying Her Alive
(AP Photo, file)

(CBS/AP) Juan Gomez-Jimenez, a 26-year-old Fresno County, California farm worker, has pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 4-year-old disabled girl, and trying to bury her alive in a vineyard.

The Fresno Bee reports that Gomez-Jimenez faces 25 years to life in prison after entering his plea Wednesday to attempted murder and sex with a child, who suffers from a condition in which she cannot talk, walk or eat on her own.

Prosecutors say the child was taken by Gomez-Jimenez while she and her two brothers slept in a family van on Christmas Eve 2008 as their parents attended a midnight Mass. Rescuers later found her buried in a vineyard near Raisin City with only one foot sticking out of the ground.

Sheriff's detective Virginia Rodriguez testified at a preliminary hearing in July that after a rescuer shook the child, she started to breathe again.

Prosecutors say DNA linked Gomez-Jimenez to the crime.