PASCO — A 38-year-old Connell man faces a Jan. 12 trial for allegedly sexually assaulting a young girl for at least seven years.
Israel Gutierrez-Utera pleaded innocent Tuesday in Franklin County Superior Court to one count of first-degree child rape.
He's accused of forcing the girl to have sex with him as recently as this spring, court documents said.
The sexual abuse was reported Oct. 29 by the girl and her mother.
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The girl said he would touch her inappropriately "a lot of times," documents said. He also took off her clothes and "told her he was going to play around," documents said.
About a year ago, the girl said she told Gutierrez-Utera that he disgusted her, and he made her grab a "big, silver gun" that he was holding and told her "you might as well shoot me if that's what you want," documents said.
He also told her if she ever told "he would not want to be in jail and would rather just shoot himself," she said.
Gutierrez-Utera is being held in the Franklin County jail on $100,000 bail.
Defense attorney reassigned
A Pasco murder suspect on trial for killing his son's mother received a new defense attorney Tuesday to help prepare for his January trial.
Gregorio Luna Luna, 31, was being represented by Karla Kane and Shawn Sant, but Sant was allowed to withdraw from the case and Shelley Ajax was appointed to assist Kane.
Sant will become Franklin County's new prosecutor beginning in January after beating Prosecutor Steve Lowe in the general election.
Deputy Prosecutor Michelle McMillen also told Judge Robert Swisher that they need to appoint a special prosecutor to handle the case.
She said Lowe is working to get a list of people who are willing to serve as a special prosecutor.
Luna Luna is charged with one count of first-degree murder for the May 24 stabbing death of Griselda Ocampo Meza, 21.
A special prosecutor also is being sought in two murder cases involving brothers Jose and Ramon Garcia-Morales, who are accused of fatally shooting a Pasco man and critically wounding his wife in 2008.
The brothers are charged with first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder. Sant is Jose Garcia-Morales' defense attorney.
Pasco man to represent himself
A Pasco man accused of trying to lure four young boys to his house will be representing himself at his trial today.
Neftali Silverio Camacho, 28, had been representing himself until September, when defense attorney Karla Kane was appointed to handle the case.
On Tuesday, however, Judge Robert Swisher asked Camacho if he was ready for trial with Kane as his attorney.
"It doesn't matter to me. If she wants to represent me, she can. If she doesn't, I can represent myself," Camacho said. "I would rather represent myself."
Swisher agreed to allow Camacho to represent himself, but Kane will stay on as stand-by counsel to assist him.
Camacho is charged in Franklin County Superior Court with one count of luring.
He is accused of contacting four boys at the Rite Aid store on North Fourth Avenue in Pasco on June 10 after he went there to wire money through Western Union.
A store employee said that while Camacho was leaving, he asked four boys, ages 7 to 10, to go to his house to watch videos, court documents said.
When the kids declined, Camacho allegedly said, "Come on. It will be fun," and gave them his address on Shoshone Street.
Camacho told police he went to Rite Aid to wire money to his girlfriend, then asked the kids to watch videos at his house. He called it a "neighborhood tradition."
Pasco man takes plea deal
A Pasco man caught last year in a stolen car that belonged to a corrections officer took advantage of a plea deal that gave him a reduced sentence.
Juan Diego Belloso, 23, pleaded guilty Tuesday to second-degree attempting to take a vehicle without permission, a gross misdemeanor.
He received a 10-day jail sentence and got credit for the 10 days he already served after his arrest in February 2009.
Belloso had been charged with possession of a stolen vehicle and possession of a stolen gun, both felonies.
He was arrested by Pasco police after he and two teens were spotted in the car that had been stolen from Kennewick. Belloso and the teens dumped the ca, but were caught after a short chase, police said.
-- Paula Horton: 509-582-1556; email@example.com