By JOSH FRIEDMAN
A Santa Margarita man who sexually abused girls over a span of more than three decades will likely spend the rest of his life in prison after being convicted on Wednesday of felony sex crimes against three children.
Michael Anthony Brians, 60, abused five girls between about 1983 and 2016, according to the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office. A San Luis Obispo jury convicted Brians of eight counts of felony sex crimes committed against three of the girls.
The other two victims, now adults, testified during Brians’ three-week trial about him abusing them when they were children. Though the statute of limitations for those offenses had expired, the victims’ testimony was allowed under an evidence code section pertaining to prior instances of sexual abuse.
Brians faces 90 years to life in prison. His sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 13 in the courtroom of Judge Jacquelyn Duffy.
Following Wednesday’s verdict, District Attorney Dan Dow released a statement commending the victims for coming forward about their sexual abuse.
“We thank the jury for their efforts in this sensitive and emotional case,” Dow said. “The survivors demonstrated remarkable courage by reporting the crimes which encouraged other survivors to come forward. We commend these women for their strength to testify and their support which was necessary to bring this predator to justice. This conviction should encourage other survivors of sexual assault to report the conduct to law enforcement.”