BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — A significant domestic violence and sexual assault case reached a conviction on March 23.
According to the Kern County Superior Court, Arthur Ponce was found guilty of seven felony counts including kidnap with purpose of rape, rape by force, oral copulation by force, sexual penetration by force, assault with a deadly weapon, criminal threats, and domestic violence.
On July 28, 2020, Ponce’s victim called 911 and said that Ponce had taken their two-month-old baby from the house and wouldn’t bring him back.
Ponce told the victim that he would only bring the child back if she did what he said, but the victim said that she did not want to go with Ponce.
Once Ponce arrived back at the house, the victim went to check on the baby when he shoved her into the car and drove away.
He then took her to another neighborhood where he began hitting her and threatening her with a knife. After that he took her to an empty park where he sexually assaulted her in the presence of the child.
“The same themes of control, manipulation and violence that are common domestic abuse cases can escalate into sexual assault crimes. The unmitigated kidnappings, threats, violence and abuse perpetrated in this case qualify for severe punishment, including a life sentence in state prison, which is what we will be seeking,” District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer said about the conviction.
Sentencing is set for April 21, 2022, before Superior Court Judge John Somers. Arthur Ponce faces a maximum sentence of 79 years to life and mandatory sex offender registration.