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Taft Midway Driller - Taft, CA
  • Molestation suspect to go on trial this month

  • Man is accused of lewd acts with 11-year-old girl
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  • A Taft man accused of sexually molesting an 11-year-old girl last year is scheduled to go on trial in Bakersfield this later this month.
    Efrain Velasco-Palacios faces five felony counts of committing lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14.
    He was being sought by Taft Police and was arrested by Kern County Sheriff's deputies following a traffic stop in the area of Highway 119 and Cedar Street.
    Deputies were seeking Velasco-Palacios on separate charges when they spotted him driving in the Ford City area. He ran from deputies after stopping the car but was arrested after a short chase.
    Police had been looking for Velasco-Palacios for several days.
    They received a report from the mother of the victim and an investigation led them to suspect he had molested the girl several times in October and November of 2012, Taft Police Lt.. Pete Aranda said.
    Velasco-Palacios is also charged with felony vandalism, resisting arrest and spousal abuse from other cases.
    Velasco-Palacios had pleaded not guilty to the molestation counts and was ordered to stand trial at a preliminary hearing in September.
    His trial date is Oct. 28.
    He is being held on a no-bail immigration hold.

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