Crime & Justice

San Fernando Valley man guilty of killing 5-year-old girl

A San Fernando Valley man could face the death penalty for sexually assaulting and beating to death his girlfriend's 5-year-old daughter.

Jurors in Los Angeles convicted 29-year-old Antonio Rodriguez of murder, torture and six other counts Thursday. He was acquitted of two other charges. Jurors will now decide whether to recommend death or life in prison.

The Van Nuys man was convicted of brutalizing Desarie Saravia and her 6-year-old brother, Brian.

Prosecutors say the children suffered months of abuse before Rodriguez molested and beat the girl in a restroom at a Castaic park in 2004. He'd taken the children to the park while their mother cleaned a house nearby.

The mother, Debby Saravia, will be tried for murder next month.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.