A prowler convicted of sneaking into two little girls' rooms in San Diego's North County, rubbing one of their backs under the covers, has been sentenced to prison.
Dwayne Farrell was sentenced to seven years and 25 years to life in prison for two counts of residential burglary, two counts of annoying or molesting a minor and one count of a lewd act on a minor during the process of residential burglary.
A mother from one of the affected families spoke, describing the emotional turmoil the man caused her family.
"Every time we come home, I have to do a 'creep check', make sure nobody is in the house, look in the closets, look under the beds," testified Diane R, one of the victim's mothers.
"The day that happened to us was the most devastating day for our kids," she said.
One of the victim's mothers described the event as a "nightmare that turned real."
Farrell broke into two units at the Terra Cotta Apartments in the 500 block of Rush Drive in 2014.
In the first incident, Deputy District Attorney Ryan Saunders said Farrell sneaked in through an unlocked sliding glass door and went into a room where an 7-year-old girl was sleeping in her bed near her 3-year-old sister’s crib.
“He was kneeling down next to her bed, rubbing her back under her covers but on top of her shirt,” said Saunders.
Thinking the man was her father, the girl noticed he may have been filming her with his phone’s camera. However, when she pulled on his beanie, she realized he was a stranger. Farrell quickly fled after that, according to Saunders.
The second incident took place just 25 minutes later. Saunders said Farrell got into a second-story unit through another unlocked sliding door and walked into a bedroom where a mother and her 8-year-old daughter were sleeping on two twin beds.
The 8-year-old awoke to find a strange man asleep on the floor beside her bed. She woke up her mother, and the woman chased the man out the room.
Farrell ran to the balcony, jumped off and hit his head on the ground, causing it to bleed, Saunders said.
That blood – later recovered by San Diego County Sheriff’s deputies – helped them identify Farrell as their suspect.
Investigators compared the blood’s DNA to the DNA in their lab’s system. Within a day, they had a positive match.
Farrell had a previous felony conviction for attempted burglary in 2012, as well as two misdemeanor charges for peeping and resisting an officer, which is why he was in the system.
On Farrell’s confiscated phone, detectives discovered downloaded images of sleeping, nude teenage girls, according to Saunders.
“Again, these were images that were sexual in nature, and the titles of the images were things such as ‘nude sleeping girls,’ ‘sleeping teens,’ things of that nature,” said Saunders.