A Coachella man accused of molesting a 15-year-old relative following a baptism celebration at his home must stand trial on felony and misdemeanor charges, a judge ruled Tuesday.
Riverside County Superior Court Judge Otis Sterling ruled that prosecutors presented sufficient evidence at Armando Figueroa Jr.’s preliminary hearing to proceed to trial on charges that could result in a maximum sentence of roughly 18 years in state prison if he’s convicted.
Sterling kept the 35-year-old defendant’s bail at $75,000, and scheduled a post-preliminary hearing arraignment for Oct. 20 at the Larson Justice Center in Indio.
Figueroa remains out of custody awaiting trial on two counts of committing lewd acts on a 15-year-old child, and one count each of forcible sexual penetration with a foreign object and oral copulation with a minor 14 years or older by force — all felonies. He also faces five misdemeanor charges: two counts each of possessing a firearm by a person prohibited due to a temporary restraining order, and three counts of disobeying a court order.
A declaration in support of arrest warrant prepared by Riverside County sheriff’s Investigator Claudia Herrera said the alleged victim was invited along with her family to the Coachella home that the defendant shares with his parents for a baptism on March 2, 2019.
About 11 that night, the defendant allegedly invited the girl to his room, ostensibly to show her a new gun he had just bought.
“Once in the room, Figueroa took her phone away and placed it on his bed,” the investigator alleged. “He locked his bedroom door and turned off the lights.”
The alleged molestation stopped when he heard somebody coming near the room, according to Herrera.
The defendant does not have any documented felony convictions in Riverside County.