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SPOKANE -- A suspected child molester who tried to hide from the law in Costa Rica is back in Spokane and standing trial in Superior Court. A new law may help prosecutors secure a conviction against him.
_____ is a Level Two Sex Offender who's already been convicted of molesting one child and now standing trial for molesting another. In the most recent case _____ allegedly fondled the seven-year-old daughter of his female drug dealer in a Spokane parking lot.
_____' alleged victim is now 11 and will testify against him but the first person to the take stand on Monday was a college student. She was just seven-years-old when in 1996 _____ used a ladder to climb through her bedroom window.
"He proceeded to take off my boxer bottoms and lift up my top, I had a two piece on. He didn't take off my top of all the way he just lifted it over my chest and told me to be quiet," the woman said.
_____ was caught and convicted of sexually assaulting the now grown woman and sent to prison.
However _____ was released and allegedly claimed a new victim here in Spokane in 2004. To avoid arrest _____ fled to Costa Rica and it wasn't until Monday that he was brought to trial.
During the time he was a fugitive in Costa Rica the state legislature passed a new law that allows prosecutors to call previous sexual assault victims to the stand so now _____' jury knows he is a repeat sex offender, and his victim from more than a decade ago handed a significant setback to his defense on his new charges.
_____ denies ever touching his most recent accuser and he's hoping his jury will believe him. Part of the reason he's hoping the jury will believe his defense may have to do with another law passed since _____ went to prison for his first sex crime. That law gives convicted sex offenders just two strikes.
If _____ is convicted at the trial that got underway Monday, he will automatically face life in prison.