A Petaluma man convicted of sexually abusing a young girl over a period of five years now faces more than two decades in prison, authorities announced Friday.
John Christopher Sparrow was a "trusted family friend and neighbor" of the victim, whom he met when she was 8-years-old, District Attorney Jill Ravitch said in a statement.
Sparrow, 55, first abused the victim in 2005 when she was 11 years old and he continued his actions for five more years, until mid-2011.
He then also molested her friend, said Deputy District Attorney Christine Cook.
At that point, the two girls reported him to police. Three days later, on Aug. 4, 2011, Sparrow was arrested by Petaluma police.
"This child molester gained access to the two young girls whom he victimized under the pretext of family friendship," Ravitch said.
"We commend the jury for holding this predator accountable and ensuring a lengthy prison commitment," Ravitch said.
After a six-day trial and a day of deliberations, a 12-person jury found Sparrow guilty on Tuesday of 12 felonies involving the victim and her friend.
He had been in custody since his arrest. Little other information was immediately available about Sparrow. He was married when he was arrested, Cook said.
He is to be sentenced Nov. 15 and faces a maximum of 22 years and eight months in prison.
(You can reach Staff Writer Jeremy Hay at 521-5212 or email@example.com.)