Man convicted of child rape gets 53 years

A man convicted of child rape in 1990s assaults on several girls has been sentenced to 53 years in prison.

Salvador Aleman Cruz acted as his own lawyer during his King County Superior Court trial. A jury last month convicted him of seven charges involving four victims. He was sentenced Friday in Seattle.

The Seattle Times reports that charges involving a fifth victim were dismissed during his trial after the now-21-year-old woman climbed to the top of the King County Courthouse and threatened to jump just before she was scheduled to testify. After the charges were dropped the woman did not have to testify and face Cruz.

The 40-year-old Cruz was accused of molesting the woman and her older sister between 1993 and 1997, when he was dating their mother. Prosecutors say the assaults on the other victims occurred around the same time.