Suspected Molester Waives Hearing

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A 28-year-old Mesa del Caballo man -- scheduled for a preliminary hearing in Payson Justice Court on charges of child molestation involving five girls --waived his hearing this morning (Tuesday) and will now face those charges in Gila County Superior Court.

The case has been turned over to the Gila County Attorney's office for prosecution. No future court dates have yet been set.

The suspect was arrested Feb. 12 and, as of Tuesday morning, was being held in the Gila County Jail in Globe on a bond of $50,000.

According to county investigators, the first molestation was reported to the sheriff's department by a man after his daughter told him about her encounter with the suspect.

After another girl reported a similar encounter with the man to a school counselor, detectives found three more alleged victims. The five girls range in age from 13 to 17 years old.

Detectives said the alleged molestations were reported to have been going on for at least a year.

A spokesman for the sheriff's department said the suspect made a videotaped confession, but it will not be made available until the investigation has been completed.

(Editors note: The Roundup is adhering to its policy not to divulge the name of a suspect involved in a sex crime unless the person is convicted of that crime.)

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