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Accused molester pleads not guilty to charges

Investigators say 20-year-old preyed on 17 local victims

Posted: July 31, 2012 11:25 a.m.
Updated: July 31, 2012 11:25 a.m.


A 20-year-old Valencia man who is on trial for several sex offenses allegedly involving more than a dozen victims entered a plea of not guilty in San Fernando Superior Court today.

Michael Downs, who faces 34 charges involving 17 alleged victims, could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted on all counts, according to prosecutors.

Downs entered a plea of not guilty in February. Following a preliminary hearing, he was ordered to stand trial on July 18.

His second not-guilty plea today marks the formal beginning of his trial.

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.

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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