SAN FERNANDO (CNS) – At the courthouse in the city of San Fernando, a Van Nuys man pleaded no contest today to molesting a 5-year-old girl after luring her to an isolated area of a parking lot at the Panorama City shopping center nearly two years ago.

Jorge Enrique Lopez Maza, 27, was immediately sentenced to 15 years to life in state prison and ordered to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Maza pleaded no contest to one count of committing a lewd act on a child and admitted an allegation that he kidnapped the girl, according to Deputy District Attorney Julie Kramer.

He approached the youngster at the Panorama Mall on April 21, 2016, and convinced her to go with him to find her grandmother after the two became separated. A good Samaritan–who heard the girl scream after she ran away chased Maza several blocks to a local market, where he was ultimately apprehended by police, the prosecutor said.

Maza has remained behind bars since his arrest that day.

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