A DEPRAVED junkie who brutally raped, tortured and then slaughtered his girlfriend’s three-year-old daughter is facing the death penalty.

Christopher Cheary murdered toddler Sophia Acosta on May 7, 2011, at the flat where they lived with her mother and younger sister.


A murder trial heard he was angry that he was not called “Daddy”.

And this happened while little Sophia’s mum Erika Smith was out scoring drugs for the 26-year-old child killer in Visalia, California.

Cheary belted the child before sexually assaulting her with an object and raping her. Emergency services found her lying naked and soaking wet in the middle of the living room floor.

Cheary was convicted of first degree murder, rape and torture earlier this month after a two-month trial.

But last night jurors recommended the death penalty.

He will be sentenced on January 30.


Sophia’s mum was never charged with any crime.

During the trial, she told Tulare County Court that she allowed Cheary to shack with her and her daughters in a bid to help him kick heroin.

The pair soon began dating but he began beating her up, she said.

On the morning Sophia was attacked, she said the pair were rowing and she thought she could calm him down by buying him heroin.


Later, after she came back, she found Sophia unconscious and with vomit around her mouth.

Sophia was taken to Kaweah Delta Hospital here in Visalia and then transferred to Valley Children’s Hospital.

Here she was pronounced brain dead and taken off life support days later.

Medics said it was clear she had been tortured.

Credits: The Sun UK


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