Prosecutors file additional charges against East County gun inst - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Prosecutors file additional charges against East County gun instructor accused of molesting boys

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EL CAJON (CNS) - Prosecutors Wednesday filed additional charges of sodomy and lewd acts on a child against a Santee firearms trainer and self-described security expert accused of sexually assaulting three teenage boys.

Tony Lee Burleson, 44, was originally charged in May with four child-molestation counts stemming from sex crimes that allegedly occurred over the past two years, according to prosecutors.

The operator of Burleson Academy, a firearms-instruction center on East Douglas Avenue in El Cajon, also is suspected of impersonating a peace officer on at least one occasion, according to San Diego police.

Burleson disappeared in late May and was at large for 36 hours after learning that he was the subject of an arrest warrant in the molestation case, Deputy District Attorney Cally Bright said.

On May 28, San Diego police found Burleson asleep in his bright-yellow Hummer SUV in a parking lot near a church day-care center on Santo Road in Tierrasanta, according to sheriff's Lt. James Bolwerk.

Authorities had been looking for Burleson since May 24, when a person came forward to report having allegedly been sexually assaulted by him in the 1980s, Bolwerk told reporters.

Detectives subsequently identified three other alleged child-molestation victims, the lieutenant said. Those boys -- two now aged 15 and the other 17 -- are the alleged victims in the criminal case against Burleson. One of them is a relative of his, prosecutors said.

Charges cannot be filed in connection with the initial allegations because the statute of limitations has run out.

Burleson faces up to 18 years in state prison if convicted. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Jan. 6.

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