Bearden was arrested a year ago for molesting girl in 2009


A Taft man arrested  more than a year ago and accused of child molestation stemming from a crime in 2009 has reached a plea agreement that could send him to prison for up to 20 years.
Billy Scott Bearden, 33, pleaded  no contest to felony counts of unlawful intercourse with a minor and giving a narcotic  or controlled substance to a minor Wednesday in  Kern County Superior Court.
Bearden, who has been in custody on prior convictions for two years,  will be sentenced on August 23.
A source familiar with the case said the plea agreement calls for a 20-year state prison sentence.
Numerous other molestation counts were dropped as part of the plea deal, according to court records.
Bearden was  free on parole when deputies from the Kern County Sheriff's Taft substation began an investigation on May 12, 2009  into allegations that Bearden had molested a 14 year-old female.
Bearden's parole was revoked the next day and he was held in custody while the case was investigated.
Charges were filed and Bearden was scheduled to go on trial this month when the plea agreement was reached.