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Valencia man faces jury trial in sex offenses case

Posted: December 11, 2012 12:39 p.m.
Updated: December 11, 2012 12:39 p.m.
Michael Downs  Michael Downs 
Michael Downs 

SAN FERNANDO — A 20-year-old Valencia man charged with 34 sex offenses involving 17 alleged local victims, faces a jury trial, a judge has ruled.

Michael Downs, led into San Fernando Superior Court on Tuesday handcuffed and wearing a Los Angeles County jail jumpsuit, sat quietly as a date was set for proceedings to begin next month in preparation of a jury trial.

Downs was arrested in mid-December 2011 after some local girls came forward and said he had performed sexual acts with them, investigators said at the time.

He was arraigned on charges of sex-related crimes involving a minor, including statutory rape and lewd acts with a minor under age 14. In February, entered a plea of not guilty.

All 17 of the alleged victims are Santa Clarita Valley residents, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department officials said at the time of his arrest.

In July, Downs was ordered to stand trial on all charges against him.

He could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted on all counts, according to prosecutors.

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




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