A man in Buena Park, California, faces 50 years to life in prison after he was convicted of sexually assaulting a toddler.

In a press release, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office stated that an investigation into “several inappropriate internet postings involving a female toddler” was launched by the Department of Homeland Security in 2016. Investigation revealed that the man, identified as 23-year-old Arthur William Robert Callender, sexually assaulted the two-year-old girl while he babysat her. He was taken into custody in October 2016.

The press release stated that his trial “was ongoing when the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court issued an unprecedented order on March 23, 2020 suspending jury trials be suspended for 60 days. Given the serious nature of the crimes and the advanced stage of Callender’s trial, Orange County Superior Court Judge Andre Manssourian found good cause to exempt Callender’s trial from the suspension order.”

On Wednesday, the accused was convicted of two felony counts of sexual intercourse with a child under the age of 10 and faces fifty years to life in state prison. He was scheduled to appear in court for sentencing in June.

Meanwhile, focusing on the social distancing that was enforced in the court, the press release stated that jurors were spread out “across the entire courtroom instead of being restricted to the jury box. Many of the people in the courtroom wore masks. Jurors were taken to a separate courtroom to deliberate where the same social distancing measures were enforced. After an hour of deliberation, the jury returned a guilty verdict on both felony counts.”

Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said, “The Orange County District Attorney’s Office is incredibly grateful to the jurors for their commitment to the criminal justice system. Despite the challenges of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, these men and women came to court, considered the evidence, and returned a verdict that will keep this monster behind bars for decades. Their selflessness will prevent him from victimizing other children.”

Representational image of a handcuff. Pixabay