Fresno sex offender who recorded abuse could face longest punishment in California history

FRESNO, Calif. -- The jury's out in a Fresno County child sex case that could lead to the longest punishment in state history.

Cornelio Jimenez lied to police about where he lived for more than a year. The registered sex offender only showed up on their radar when they traced child porn to the home where he lived. During that time, prosecutors say he discussed molesting kids in emails.

"There's this very cute little 4-year-old girl that I babysit about once a week," prosecutors Deborah Miller said, quoting one of Jimenez's emails. "I have hella pictures of her. I have to molest her every chance I get."

Investigators found videos showing Jimenez engaging in sexual activity with two girls -- ages four and seven -- who lived in the home he wouldn't tell police about. Prosecutors showed jurors pieces of the videos as evidence of 36 counts of sex crimes and child porn.

"And how do we know?" Miller asked the jury about Jimenez's guilt. "Because on 30 of them we saw pictures and video of it."

At least a couple people related to the victims walked out of court as still photos from the videos came up again in closing arguments Tuesday. After his arrest, police say Jimenez admitted to the crimes, but his public defender argued two of the 36 counts really involve the same criminal act.

"The easy thing to do in this case is to clump all the counts together," said Angelica Rivera. "That's the easy thing to do. The right thing is to take them separately."

Jimenez turned down an offer of 75 years to life before trial.

He faces more than 1,882 years to life in prison if he's convicted on all the charges. If jurors agree the two charged crimes overlap, prosecutors tell our sister station ABC30 Action News the punishment could still be 1,827 years to life.

We've asked several court experts and none of them can find a longer sentence in California court history.
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