A Kern County jury convicted a Bakersfield man on five counts of child sexual molestation involving three children Friday.

Joel Santiz, 41, was found guilty of molesting a 9-year old girl in 2013 and two girls between 10 to 12 from 2019 to 2020.

One of the girls came forward and reported the abuse in August of 2020, which led to the discovery of the other two victims.

District Attorney Cinthia Zimmer explained how important it is to represent victims and allow their voices be heard.

“When sexual predators target and victimize children, public safety and every sense of justice demand severe penalties. This conviction is a reminder of how important it is that prosecutors amplify the voices of victims to bring justice for the case and protect the community by ensuring Santiz is never allowed to prey on children again,” Zimmer said.

Santiz is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 20. He faces 60 years to life in prison and lifetime sex offender registration.