SANTA ANA, California (CBSLA.com) -- A 43-year-old man who worked as a clown has pleaded guilty to raping a 12-year-old girl while in costume a decade ago.
Jose Guadalupe Jimenez was immediately sentenced to 10 years in prison, Deputy District Attorney Katherine David said.
The Anaheim resident performed as a clown named El Tin Larin. He was wearing his costume when he abducted the girl around midnight, Jan. 19, 2002, in front of a Taco Bell restaurant in Fullerton.
He drove her to the parking lot of Ladera Vista Junior High School and raped her inside the car, David said.
The victim managed to escape when Jimenez exited the car at a nearby motel.
Jimenez wasn't connected to the crime until February 2011, when his DNA was collected as part of a misdemeanor battery case prosecuted by the Anaheim City Attorney's Office. He was arrested March 25, 2011.
He pleaded guilty to the battery charge in February and was sentenced to 180 days in jail.
Jimenez could have faced up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted at trial of the rape case.
He will have to register for the rest of his life as a sex offender, David said.