VISTA (CNS) - A 20-year-old Vista man pleaded guilty Friday to misdemeanor statutory rape for having consensual sex with a 15-year-old Encinitas girl he met online, who said she had been raped by three men in an attempt to hide the tryst from her parents.
Jose Adrian Cano was immediately sentenced to time already served in custody and three years probation, said Deputy District Attorney Katherine Flaherty.
Judge Robert Kearney also ordered the defendant to stay away from the girl.
On Sept. 24, the 10th-grader said she'd been kidnapped and raped by three men while walking home from school along Melba Road in Encinitas.
News of the supposed crime stirred alarm and concern throughout the North County. The girl gave detailed descriptions of the supposed assailants, which authorities used to make composite drawings that were publicized widely, along with warnings to area families and school officials.
On Sept. 27, authorities disclosed that the girl confessed to having skipped the final class of her school week to have consensual sex with a man she met online.
Cano was arrested the next day.
"The (girl's) parents had warned their daughter about the dangers of communicating with strangers online," said sheriff's Capt. Sherri Sarro. "(She) was embarrassed, ashamed and scared of how her parents would react to her being victimized by someone she had met online."
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