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Taft Midway Driller - Taft, CA
  • Man arrested for child molesting, assault with a deadly weapon

  • Suspect accused of committing lewd acts with young Taft girl in 2012 and assualt from incident last week in Ford City
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  • A man was scheduled to make his first court appearance Tuesday on multiple criminal counts, including child molesting stemming from a pair of incidents last week in the Taft area.
    Efrain Velasco-Palacios, 18, is being charged by Taft Police with child molesting and Kern County Sheriff's Office has charged him with assault with a deadly weapon and conspiracy involving a separate incident.
    Velasco-Palacios was arrested by Kern County Sheriff''s deputies following a traffic stop in the area of Highway 119 and Cedar Street about 8:30 p.m. Saturday.
    He was booked into the Sheriff's central receiving facility on charges of assault with a deadly weapon, making criminal threats and conspiracy in connection with an incident that occurred on June 2 in Ford City.
    A second suspect, Secundino Flores, 23, was arrested that day and charged with assault with a deadly weapon, being an accessory to a felony and providing false information to police.
    Velasco-Palacios was being sought in connection with the same case.
    Officers apparently made a traffic stop Saturday night and Velasco-Palacios was arrested and the assault and threats charges plus resisting arrest from running from officers.
    Taft Police Lt. Pete Aranda said officers received a report last week that a young female in the Taft area had been sexually assaulted and Velasco-Palacios was the suspect.
    Aranda would not release any information about the victim other than that she was under age 14.
    Aranda said officers developed probable cause to arrest Velasco Palacios on charges of lewd ad lascivious conduct with a child under age 14 and lewd and lascivious acts committed by force.
    The lieutenant said he could not comment further because the investigation in still in the very early stages.
    Kern County Sheriff's jail records show Velasco-Palacios is also being held on a no-bail immigration hold.
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