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Downs ordered to stand trial

Posted: July 18, 2012 2:04 p.m.
Updated: July 18, 2012 2:04 p.m.
Michael Downs  Michael Downs 
Michael Downs 

A 20-year-old Valencia man charged with several sex offenses, allegedly involving more than a dozen victims, has been ordered to stand trial on all charges against him.

Michael Downs, who faces 34 charges involving 17 alleged victims and entered a plea of not guilty in February, could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted on all counts, according to prosecutors.

On Tuesday, Assistant District Attorney Kareen O’Brien wrapped up the prosecution’s case against Downs in a preliminary hearing at San Fernando Superior Court.

A preliminary hearing is held to determine if a criminal case warrants going to trial. The judge makes that decision.

Superior Court Judge Shari Kreisler Silver ruled Tuesday that Downs is to stand trial July 31.

Downs, who turned 20 in May, was arrested in mid-December after some local girls came forward and said he had performed sexual acts with them, investigators said at the time.

In December, he was arraigned in San Fernando Superior Court on charges of sex-related crimes involving a minor, including statutory rape and lewd acts with a minor under age 14.

All the alleged victims are Santa Clarita Valley residents, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department officials have said.

Downs remains in custody with bail set at $1.8 million.



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