A Pasco City Council member appeared Tuesday in court for the first time on criminal allegations he sexually assaulted a grade-school girl.
Chi Flores, 38, pleaded innocent in Franklin County Superior Court to two counts of first-degree child molestation. His trial is set Sept. 6.
Flores, who was unanimously selected to fill a vacant council seat in October, responded Tuesday to a summons that was given to his attorney, Scott Johnson.
When Deputy Prosecutor Maureen Astley asked that bail be set at $10,000, Johnson argued that his client has known about the investigation for months, has no criminal history, has a home in Pasco and is not a flight risk.
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Johnson also pointed out that the state never sought an arrest warrant for Flores, and questioned why prosecutors now want bail.
Astley replied there are concerns that Flores could leave the area given the nature of the alleged crimes.
“I’m not going to set bail at this time,” said Judge Vic VanderSchoor, cutting short arguments from both Astley and Johnson.
Prosecutors allege Flores twice molested the young girl earlier this year.
The girl’s older brother reportedly told his father in late March that his sister claimed Flores “had touched her in an inappropriate place,” according to a sexual assault protection order sought in April by the family.
The girl said both times she was at Flores’ home.
Johnson previously told the Herald “there is absolutely no truth to the allegations at all,” that the timeline doesn’t make sense and there were other witnesses in the room who say nothing happened.
As part of his conditions of release on the criminal case, Flores is restrained from going onto the girl’s street, and can’t have contact with minors unless they are his own children or he is accompanied by an adult.
Flores represents District 4, which extends from Convention Drive west to Broadmoor Boulevard and Road 100, and crosses over Interstate 182 from Argent Road on the south to the northern city limits.
Flores has filed to retain his council seat and has five challengers — Roberto (RJ) Garcia, Pete Serrano, Dan Hatch, Trevor Sall and Abel Campos.