Great work by the Lassen County District Attorney’s Office, the Lassen County Sheriff’s Office and the courage of a young victim, led to a child rapist’s guilty plea — and he may live the rest of his life behind bars, according to a statement from the DA’s office.
Arik Baker, 49, pleaded guilty Feb. 13 in Lassen County Superior Court to two felony counts of the crime of sexual penetration of a child 10 years old or younger in violation of California Penal Code Section 288.7(b) resulting in two consecutive terms of 15 years to life in state prison.
Baker also pleaded guilty to continuous sexual abuse, in violation of California Penal Code Section 288.5(a), defined as three or more acts of “substantial sexual conduct” with a child under the age of 14 years resulting in an additional term of 16 years.
In addition, Baker pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual assault of a child, in violation of Penal Code 269(a) (1), where the defendant was 7 or more years older than the child, and the child is under the age of 14, where he committed rape, resulting in an additional term of 15-years-to-life.
Dan A. Howe, special prosecutor for the district attorney’s office, announced Baker’s guilty plea to four felony counts with a stipulated sentence of 61-years-to-life Tuesday, Feb. 13. Included in the plea bargain was a waiver of any right to appeal.
Howe also recognized the bravery and resilience of the survivor.
“The reason we achieved such an excellent result (in this case) was because of the survivor’s strong commitment to justice,” Howe said.
Additionally, Howe thanked the LCSO for an excellent, professional investigation with a special acknowledgement of Sgt. John McGarva and Deputy Laura Johnson.
Sentencing is scheduled for 9 a.m. April 16 at the Lassen County Hall of Justice. The charges were originally filed in January 2015.
According to the statement, “The Lassen County District Attorney’s Office would like to encourage individuals who have experienced any sexual assault to please report the incident to law enforcement. Delayed disclosure of sexual assault is normal. The extraordinary disposition in this case is because a survivor spoke out. You too deserve to be heard, respected and for the crime to be investigated.”
Stacey Montgomery, the Lassen County District Attorney, may be contacted at 251-8283.