A Minor, Kidnapped and Sexually Assaulted in Torrance
Torrance is well known as one of the safest city in Southern Los Angeles. However, there has been some shocking cases in 2017,
one of them when an individual kidnapped and sexually assaulted a 2-year old girl, and this is the story:
Laid off from work
He was laid off from his job on that same day, picking up his last paycheck around an hour before the toddler vanished from her mother’s side, court testimony revealed Friday.
Michael David Ikeler, age 38, abandoned the California Spectra Instrumentation facilities at Wilmington Avenue and Del Amo Boulevard in Carson at about 3:30 p.m. April 2, 2015, after getting his pertaining layoff check, said Patricia Sandoval, the company’s financial supervisor.
Spectra provides instruments, and electrical contractors to the “heavy industrial market sector,” including oil refineries, the company’s website say.
Ikeler appeared untidy, “dirty and tired,” wearing his coveralls after a day working in a local factory, Sandoval said. “He just appeared to pick up his termination papers and his check,” she said.
Sandoval said she told him to wait for a moment while a supervisor signed his check. She passed it to him outside, where he sat waiting in a white car.
The testimony Friday came as Ikeler’s trial concluded its first full week in Torrance Superior Court.
Jurors took about an hour on January 27th, 2017 to find a Torrance man liable of kidnapping and sexually attacking a 2-year-old girl from a Gardena car wash, declining — and even laughing — at his story that an anonymous drug dealer named Flaco perpetrated the crime.
Michael David Ikeler, 38, stared straight forward, showing no response as a Torrance Superior Court assistant read the jury’s verdict, sentencing him of one count of the obscene act upon a minor under the age of 14 and two occasions of sexual penetration of a child under ten years old.
Jurors also found a particular declaration that the crime was committed during a kidnapping to be right.
Ikeler faces 40 years of life in prison when Judge Eric Taylor sentenced him on March 1.
He doesn’t exist
“We were kidding about Flaco being there and smiling at us,” a 78-year-old juror from Torrance said after the sentence. “In other words, he doesn’t even exist. Flaco. Where does Flaco come from?”
The juror, the only one member of the panel to talk after the verdict, called the three-week trial “a most challenging case to sit on for just about everybody in the jury because of the characteristics of the crime.”
“Many of us have kids,” he said, asking to be kept anonymous.
The toddler was with her 11-year-old sister April 2, 2015, at a self-service car wash at 150th St and Western Ave as her mother washed their car’s interior. The mother said she heard her toddler cry, “Mommy,” before she disappeared.
Clients at a burger restaurant in Cudahy found the girl 2 1/2 hours later, sitting naked in a pool of urine next to a trash bin. Tests revealed the toddler suffered a sexual assault.
Gardena police found security footage showing a white Nissan Altima at the crime scene. Ikeler was arrested about a week later following a warning, and tests showed his DNA all above the girl’s body.
Thanks to DNA the verdict was easy
The obvious evidence that showed Ikeler’s DNA all over the toddler’s skin made the case easier, the juror said.
“There was no reason for it being there,” he said. “Why is it there?”
For two days on the witness stand, Ikeler acknowledged the Nissan Altima on video belonged to him, but he dismissed abducting the girl. He claimed he had lent his Altima to Flaco while he was repairing the cooling system on Flaco’s Cadillac Escalade outside of a motel in Carson or Lomita.
He declared that when the drug dealer exchanged the car, water containing Ikeler’s saliva and phlegm coming from a bottle where he used to spit toothpaste on when brushing his teeth had been spilled all over the car seat. The story was a notable attempt to explain how his DNA could have ended up on the girl.
Jurors didn’t have to think much of the story and needed a little time to convict him once they gathered in the jury room about 2:30 p.m. Friday. In less than an hour, they stated they had reached their decision.
“It would have been faster, I would say, five minutes tops, except that we had to talk about it,” the juror said.
Deputy District Attorney Allyson Ostrowski and Ikeler’s attorney, Deputy Public Defender Cris Mercurio, declined to make any comments.