Man pleads innocent in child molestation case

Tri-City HeraldJuly 2, 2013 

— A 67-year-old man pleaded innocent Tuesday to allegations he’s been sexually assaulting a girl for a few years.

Jose Lopez faces trial Aug. 21 in Franklin County Superior Court on one count of first-degree child molestation.

The victim was at a sleepover with neighbors last month when she said she was not feeling well, then began crying and said she and Lopez “had been doing stuff” and were having sex, court documents said.

One of the friends told her own mother, who then shared it with the girl’s parents and called Pasco police.

Officer Marcos Guzman talked to the parents about their relationship with Lopez. The girl was taken to the hospital for an examination and, during an interview, said it started almost four years prior with Lopez inappropriately touching her, documents said. She also claimed he had her watch pornographic movies.

Guzman then confronted Lopez at his Pasco home.

When informed the girl was making accusations against him, Lopez said in Spanish, “That is not true,” court documents said. He denied ever showing porn to the girl or molesting her, saying the most he’d done was give her a hug, documents said.

The officer noted that Lopez seemed calm instead of angry or worried, and Lopez replied, “I feel really clean of my conscience.” He later told Guzman he had nothing else to say.

Lopez has been ordered to have no contact with the girl while the case is pending. He’s being held on $50,000 bail.

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