Joe Aleman last year announced he planned to challenge Kevin McCarthy for the 23rd Congressional District seat.
Aleman has given up his political dreams — as well as hope of finding any future employment — following his conviction on a misdemeanor charge of molesting an 11-year-old girl, the daughter of a longtime friend.
A Kern County judge on Tuesday sentenced Aleman to 180 days in jail, three years' probation and lifetime sex offender registration. The judge also issued a 10-year protective order barring Aleman from coming within 100 yards of the victim.
Before sentencing, Aleman, 41, asked the victim's family for forgiveness for the grief and fear he's caused.
"Whether drunk or sober no one should ever endanger a child and for that I am truly sorry," he said.
Then he told the court the ways in which his life has been impacted since his arrest. He said he's lost the love and trust of almost everyone he knows and is no longer employable.
Superior Court Judge Bryan K. Stainfield expressed no sympathy for Aleman's circumstances. He said Aleman's actions were representative of "every parent's worst nightmare."
Supervising Deputy District Attorney Michael J. Yraceburn told the court he found it striking that 90 percent of Aleman's apology was about him, not the victim.
Aleman, he said, continues to use intoxication as an excuse for his actions.
Aleman's attorney, Deputy Public Defender Richard Ramos, said afterward he disagrees with the jury's verdict, but respects its decision.
The jury found Aleman guilty on April 5.
Early Aug. 27, deputies were called to a home where they were told by a husband and wife that Aleman had inappropriately touched their daughter as she slept, according to court documents.
The Californian is not identifying the victim or her family since she is the victim of a sex crime.
The victim's mother said in court her daughter has changed since the incident. She used to be "bright and outgoing," but has since closed herself off and doesn't trust others.
The daughter sometimes wakes up crying in the night, the mother said, afraid someone is entering the room.
According to court documents, the child's father told investigators Aleman and others were at his house that night to watch the boxing match between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor.
During the evening, the father said, Aleman kept leaving the room where everyone was hanging out and drinking, the documents say.
Surveillance cameras in different parts of the home livestreamed onto the father's cellphone, and at one point the father watched as Aleman turned off lights and entered the living room, where his daughter was sleeping on a couch.
The surveillance footage showed Aleman lift the blanket covering the girl then touch her inappropriately, according to the documents.
The father ordered Aleman to leave, then called authorities.
Investigators arrested Aleman at his house on Aug. 30.
Aleman, who in May announced his candidacy to unseat McCarthy, told The Californian he was a Republican even though he was registered as a Democrat at the time. He said he had never voted until November 2016.