LOS ANGELES --A Torrance man was sentenced to 55 years to life in prison for kidnapping a 2-year-old girl from a Gardena car wash and sexually assaulting her.
Michael David Ikeler, 38, was convicted in January on charges related to the 2015 kidnapping and assault.
After the conviction, the only question left for the judge Wednesday was whether the sentences would be served consecutively or concurrently. The judge said Ikeler's lack of remorse shown during the trial made it easy to give him the maximum penalty allowable.
The crimes happened on April 2, 2015. That day, a woman was washing her vehicle at a coin-operated car wash in Gardena as her two daughters waited outside of the car, officials said. Her older daughter then told her mother that the younger girl had disappeared.
After a search of the area, the girl was found hours later about 10 miles away, naked and sitting on the ground near a garbage container in a Cudahy restaurant's parking lot.
Police arrested Ikeler later that month after tips poured in from the public. Investigators say he sexually assaulted her before dropping her off in the lot.
Victim impact statements were read in court before the sentencing.
The victim's mother, identified only as "Marisol" when speaking to reporters outside the courthouse, thanked police and prosecutors for their work on the case and described Ikeler as "evil."
"He's a monster," Marisol said. "He's full of evil. There's no child that should go through this."