A 29-year-old Huntington Beach man accused of sneaking into a home through a window while three underage girls slumbered was convicted Thursday of aggravated trespass.
Miguel Angel Pastrana, who is scheduled to be sentenced Friday, was convicted of a misdemeanor as jurors rejected more serious felony charges of burglary and child molesting. Pastrana has been in custody since his arrest on Sept. 19, 2017.
Pastrana has a prior record for dealing methamphetamine for a gang, according to court records.
A 15-year-old girl who lives in an apartment at 17381 Queens Lane in Huntington Beach testified she woke up to the sight of Pastrana most of the way through her bedroom window.
"I had a feeling someone was watching me and then I saw him," she said of the break-in on Sept. 19, 2017. She had left her window half open that night, she testified.
The victim said the defendant was "perched like a bird" on her window sill.
"Almost his whole body was inside," she testified. "Then he hushed me, I screamed as loud as I could and he bounced back (and) went out of the window."
Get Los Angeles's latest local news on crime, entertainment, weather, schools, COVID, cost of living and more. Here's your go-to source for today's LA news.
The victim, who was 14 at the time, said she did not know Pastrana, except for seeing him around the neighborhood a few times and knowing he went by the nickname Turtle.
Pastrana left after the victims screamed for help and went to a nearby laundry room of the apartment complex, put on a gray sweatshirt and left, Deputy District Attorney David McMurrin said.
Pastrana lived about "five apartments down on the same street," McMurrin said.
When police went to see him, "He was on a floor, under a blanket and when he stands up he was completely naked,'' McMurrin said, adding the defendant had been touching himself.
Pastrana told police he was interested in being in a relationship with the oldest of the three sisters, who was 17, McMurrin said. He also indicated he just wanted to "check" on the girls to see if they were OK, the prosecutor added.
Pastrana's defense attorney, Stephen Daniels, said the mother and father of the victims were having a neighborhood get-together the night before the break-in when they got into an "altercation" with one of the defendant's cousins, Daniels said. Pastrana intervened and told the couple to leave his pregnant cousin alone, Daniels said.
Pastrana later went to the couple's home, reached into a bedroom window, pulled back a curtain and the family's dogs began barking, Daniels said. When one of the girls screamed he shushed her and then waited for their father to emerge from the residence, Daniels said.
"He didn't run away. He waited for the father to come out and said, 'Sorry, that was me,'" Daniels said.
"He did not enter that residence to molest a child," Daniels said.
Pastrana did not "talk dirty" to the victims and did not "expose himself," Daniels said.