SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The city of San Diego's "streets czar" molested a young female relative nearly eight years ago, a prosecutor said Thursday, but an attorney for the defendant told jurors that the inappropriate touching never happened.
Mario Sierra, who was appointed last year to the post of director of San Diego's Transportation and Stormwater Department, is charged with a felony count of committing a lewd act on a child. He has been placed on unpaid leave from his city job pending the outcome of the criminal case.
Deputy District Attorney Fanny Yu alleged in her opening statement that the 48-year-old defendant molested the girl in 2004, when she was 9 or 10 years old.
The girl, now 18, told her mother about the alleged abuse in 2010 after they watched an "Oprah" show on the subject of abuse.
A year ago, the girl made a "pretext call" to the defendant in which he admitted the molestation, Yu told the jury.
The girl testified that Sierra put her hand on his private area while they were lying on the couch and watching a television show in which people were having sex.
Defense attorney Thomas Warwick told the jury that there was "no inappropriate touching" of the girl by his client.
Warwick said the girl's mother told her family she was molested as a child and constantly told her children to report any sexual abuse right away.
Sierra faces up to eight years in prison if convicted.
REDDING, Calif. - Police in California say they will pursue criminal charges against a cleanup worker who posted photos of himself in properties destroyed in a wildfire that some are calling disrespectful.
Don’t let a Grinch steal all the presents before they even get under the tree. Thieves or “porch poachers” or “porch pirates” are making their rounds in neighborhoods hoping to find some amazing packages that have been delivered and left on the porch.
A 30-year-old man riding a scooter in the Gaslamp community of San Diego suffered a "brain bleed" when he rode through a red light and broadsided a Toyota Prius that had the green light, entering into the intersection, a police officer said Sunday.
A man who was hitting red light cameras in Encinitas with a baseball bat Saturday attacked a San Diego County sheriff's deputy who tried to stop him, authorities said.
Another weak storm system will sweep to the north of San Diego county on Monday. Expect a slight chance of light rain, favoring west of the mountains, by Monday night.
Cyclists, lawmakers and community members in the north county came together on Saturday in an effort to make their streets safer.
Thieves broke into a Mountain View family’s home and took their car, Christmas presents, family documents and money – all while the father fights stage four testicular cancer and his wife is eight months pregnant.
The countdown to Christmas is on and for Pacific Beach residents it was looking like it would be Christmas without their beloved tree.