LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. — A New Holland man was sentenced to a prison term of 63 ½ to 155 years after being convicted of 30 sexual abuse charges, according to the Lancaster County District Attorney's Office.
Gustavo A. Rendon, 52, was sentenced by Lancaster County Judge Merrill M. Spahn on April 11 for raping and sexually abusing five children in multiple locations in Lancaster and Berks counties between 2003 and 2010.
Prior to receiving his sentence, Rendon was the subject of a Sexually Violent Predator hearing, where a licensed psychologist issued a report stating Rendon fit the description.
Spahn accepted the report and ruled than Rendon must register as a sexual offender for the rest of his life.
During his three-day trial in November, Rendon's victims testified and described the abuse he subjected them to.
The jury convicted him of 30 charges, 21 of which are felonies.
“They showed incredible bravery to stand up to this man, probably for the first time, who has abused them for years,” Assistant District Attorney Fritz Haverstick, who prosecuted the case, said before the sentence.
Rendon abused the victims, who were all 14 or younger, and took them to other locations where they were sometimes abused by other perpetrators, prosecutors said.
Haverstick advocated for a sentence of 104 ½ to 246 years in prison arguing that “a lesser sentence would depreciate the living hell that these children suffered at the defendant’s hand.”
Rendon spoke at length when given the opportunity; he asked to face the victims, who were present in the courtroom, to which Spahn told him to just speak to him.
After imposing what effectively amounted to a life sentence, Spahn stated Rendon had failed his fundamental responsibility to at the very least do no harm.
“I haven’t seen another failure in that aspect in my time as a judge,” Spahn said.
Rendon was also ordered to pay $17,978 in restitution.
Pennsylvania State Police were made aware of the abuse after one of the victims initially reported it to a state senator’s staff.