Fallon man charged with sex crimes on child to go on trial

Richard Molina

Richard Molina

A Fallon man who pleaded not guilty to two counts of lewdness with a child under 14 and one count of sexual assault on a child under 14 in September will go on trial today.

Richard Kyle Frank Molina, 20, had entered a guilty plea, but it was rejected by Judge Leon Aberasturi due to the factual circumstances Molina claimed when admitting to the crime.

The plea agreement made between Molina and the district attorney's office called for Molina to plead guilty to one count of lewdness in district court on Aug. 7. The other count of lewdness was to be dismissed.

However, when the judged asked the defendant to tell the court what he had done, Aberasturi determined Molina's version of the story contradicted a guilty plea.

Molina denied touching the girl underneath her clothes.

"When he went to give his factual basis, it was not an (admission)," said Deputy District Attorney Craig Mingay.

After Aberasturi denied the plea and entered a not guilty plea for Molina, the district attorney's office amended the charges to include all of the alleged offenses.

The alleged victim, a fifth-grade student, has testified she was staying at a friend's house while her parents were out of town. After a group of children and adults went to the races at Rattlesnake Raceway, the girl said Molina and she watched television while others slept.

The alleged victim said Molina touched her and asked if she was wearing underwear.

The amended charges are two counts of lewdness of a child under the age of 14 and one count of sexual assault of a child under 14 years old.

Lewdness with a child under the age of 14 carries a punishment of life in prison with the possibility of parole after 10 years. The sexual assault charge carries a penalty of life in prison with the possibility of parole after 35 years.

After Aberasturi denied the guilty plea, he also declined to reduce Molina's bail.

Molina is being held in Churchill County Jail on $50,000 bail.


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