California Man Molested Girls in His Mother's Daycare—'He Ruined my Childhood'

Mario Abarca-Basabe
Mario Abarca-Basabe is facing 10 years in jail after taking a plea deal in connection to child abuse charges. Merced County District Attorney’s Office

A California man is facing jail after taking a plea deal following his arrest on suspicion of sexually abusing young children while they were being looked after by his mother, according to reports.

Mario Abarca-Basabe, 26, pleaded no contest to three child molestation charges relating to three victims under the age of 10. Abarca-Basabe was accused of abusing the girls between September 6, 2010 and November 27, 2017, while they were at his mother's day care.

One of the victims told police how Abarca-Basabe had "ruined my childhood" as a result of the abuse, resulting in her becoming depressed and self-harming, reports the Merced Sun-Star.

Abarca-Basabe was arrested on February 26, 2018, after a parent of two of the victims alerted police that their daughters were being abused while at the day care on May 2017.

An unrelated victim, who was reportedly around 5 years old at the time, also told police she had been sexually assaulted by Abarca-Basabe while under care by his mother.

Abarca-Basabe is also accused of watching pornographic movies with the victims and other children who were at the day care center, according to reports.

Abarca-Basabe was originally arrested on suspicion of lewd or lascivious acts upon a child under 14 years and oral copulation/sexual penetration against a child 10 years old or younger, according to Merced County Sheriff's Office.

The Merced County District Attorney's Office later charged Abarca-Basabe with seven felony counts of child abuse. He faces life in prison if found guilty.

On January 9, Abarca-Basabe accepted a plea deal and pleaded no contest to two counts of special allegation sex crimes with aggravated circumstances and one count of lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14 years old, according to Merced County Superior Court records seen by the Merced Sun-Star.

According to Merced-based attorney Angelica Lozano, Abarca-Basabe now faces up to 10 years in jail after pleading no contest to the three charges. The remaining four charges against him were dismissed.

The Merced County Sheriff Department did not immediately return a request for comment.