BARSTOW• A 72-year-old Barstow man accepted a plea deal and was sentenced to eight years in prison for sexually assaulting a 5-year-old girl.


Raymond Hernandez pleaded guilty to lewd or lascivious acts with a child after the District Attorney's office agreed to drop a sexual penetration charge, court records showed Wednesday.


Hernandez was sentenced to eight years in prison during his pre-preliminary hearing Tuesday. He received 76 days credit for time served and good behavior, according to court records.


Hernandez, a friend of the 5-year-old's family, was arrested by Barstow police on Dec. 5 after he confessed to inappropriately touching the child three days prior, authorities said at the time.


A police investigation determined that Hernandez was visiting the family at their home on Dec. 2. The victim's father went to look for his daughter and found her in a room alone with Hernandez, who had his belt unbuckled with the victim seated next to him.


After the father ordered Hernandez to leave the house and he complied, the 5-year-old told her father that Hernandez had touched her genital area, according to a police news release.


After he was sentenced, Hernandez was remanded to the custody of the Sheriff to be delivered to the California Department of Corrections at Chino, court records showed.


Shea Johnson may be reached at (760) 256-4126 or at SJohnson@DesertDispatch.com.