A 61-year-old Pasco man is being held in jail on $20,000 bail for allegedly sexually assaulting a neighbor girl.
Ernest R. Lee was arrested Tuesday by Pasco police after getting a report about a man touching a teen girl at the Sacajawea Apartments, 507 N. Fourth Ave., court documents said.
The teen told police that around 9 p.m., a man later identified as Lee held the door open for her and touched her inappropriately as she walked by, documents said.
The girl's sister said she walked by Lee earlier and he allegedly grabbed himself and said, "You can have my deal for $100," documents said.
When officers contacted Lee, he said he may have said something, but he couldn't remember, and if he did, it was done jokingly, documents said.
He also denied touching anyone, but at one point told officers, "Maybe I was horny," documents said.
Lee was booked into the Franklin County jail and is being held for investigation of third-degree child molestation.
During his preliminary appearance Wednesday in Franklin County Superior Court, Lee asked Judge Vic VanderSchoor why he could not be released on his personal recognizance. He said he has lived in Pasco since 1950, has gone to school here and never missed court in the past.
Deputy Prosecutor Tim Dickerson said Lee had a substantial criminal history, including at least 10 felony convictions, that warranted the $200,000 bail.
Lee, however, said he shouldn't continue to be punished for crimes he already has pleaded to.
"There should be due process of the law as well as protection of the law. I feel I should be treated fairly as a human being," he said. "All this time nobody has asked me what happened."
Defense attorney Matt Rutt was appointed to represent Lee.
Prosecutors have until Friday to charge or release him.
Small wildfires reported in Finley
Several small wildfires broke out in Finley along Highway 397 around 3 p.m. Wednesday.
The fires may have been caused by a train that went through the area -- the flames are between the tracks and the highway, said Benton County sheriff's Deputy Joe Lusignan.
Lusignan, the school resource officer at River View High in Finley, told the Herald that he saw a flames at Chemical Drive and Perkins Road and called it in.
Fires also were reported at Bowles and Bryson Brown roads.