Pismo Molester to Serve a Century in Jail

Written by Neil Farrell

Neil has been a journalist covering the Estero Bay Area for over 27 years. He’s won numerous journalism awards in several different categories over his career.

August 26, 2022

A Pismo Beach man was sentenced to more than a century in prison, after being convicted on multiple counts of child molestation with multiple victims in a crime spree spanning nearly a decade.

District Attorney Dan Dow announced Aug. 15 that Todd Anthony Hortillosa, 44 of Pismo Beach, was sentenced to 120-years to life, plus an additional 3 years and 8 months in state prison for his conviction on 10 counts of committing a lewd act on a child under the age of 14, and against three children occurring over a 9-year period.

Hortillosa’s trial saw the victims — now aged 23, 14 and 11 — testify “to the prolonged sexual abuse inflicted by Hortillosa,” reads a news release. “The sexual abuse escalated with each victim, but ultimately stopped after it was reported to a teacher by a then 11-year-old survivor.”

According to the charging document released by the D.A., Hortillosa’s crimes happened in segments, with the first victim being abused “on or between” Jan. 1, 2008 and May 10, 2013, and committed against a child under-14.

He was accused under the law of molesting the girl “with the intent of arousing, appealing to, and gratifying the lust, passions, and sexual desires of the said defendant and the said child.”

The second set of charges is from May 11, 2013 to May 10, 2015 and involves a girl who was 14 or 15 at the time but at least 10-years younger than Hortillosa.

The third victim was molested from Sept. 10, 2014 to May 8, 2019, according to the court document, again with a child uunder-14. Enhancements to his sentence include a provision for multiple victims in each case.

As a result of his convictions and in addition to his prison sentence, Hortillosa must register as a convicted sex offender for the rest of his life and was ordered to undergo testing for HIV (the virus that causes AIDS), and notify his victims of the results. 

The charges also sought “aggravating factors,” namely, the crimes involved “great violence, great bodily harm, threat of great bodily harm, or other acts disclosing a high degree of cruelty, viciousness, or callousness.”

He was also accused of locking his victims in a room with him while committing lewd acts.

And he was also convicted of unlawfully trying to prevent a victim from testifying and “suborned perjury, or in any other way illegally interfered with the judicial process,” reads the indictment.

It was also alleged that “the manner in which the crime was carried out indicates planning, sophistication, or professionalism.”

In a previous article, EBN confirmed with the D.A.’s spokesman that the victims and Hortillosa were related, which is why such abuse carried on for so long.

“We applaud the courage of these young victims,” District Attorney Dan Dow said, “to report and testify about what the defendant did to them and we thank the jury for providing justice for these three young survivors.

“This lengthy sentence amply reflects the horrific betrayal of trust and devastating effects of Mr. Hortillosa’s crimes. We will continue do everything within our power to hold child predators accountable to the maximum extent possible.”

The case was investigated by the County Sheriff’s Office Det. James Wyett and D.A. Investigator Rosalba Denny.  The case was prosecuted by Deputy D.A. Danielle Baker of the Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Prosecution Unit.

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