A twice-convicted felon from Morongo Valley accused of having a sexual relationship with an underage girl made his initial court appearance Thursday on three counts of committing lewd or lascivious acts on a minor.
Elogio Arredondo, 40, appeared via video stream before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Dean Benjamini, who appointed him a public defender and scheduled his arraignment for Friday.
The defendant, who’s being held at the Presley Detention Center in Riverside in lieu of $250,000 bail, was arrested Saturday in the Los Angeles County city of Bell Gardens.
He’s accused of molesting a girl under the age of 14 between March 18 and March 28 in Thousand Palms, according to the felony criminal complaint filed by the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office on Wednesday.
Riverside County sheriff’s Sgt. Jose Tijerina said deputies were sent March 28 to the 72-000 block of Varner Road in Thousand Palms on a call about a missing juvenile being located.
The Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force then took control of the investigation and identified Arredondo as the suspect, but he had fled the area by that point, according to the sheriff’s department.
No other details about the investigation were released.
Arredondo has two previous felony convictions in Riverside County, including committing a robbery and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, according to court records.
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