A Coachella man accused of molesting a 15-year-old relative following a baptism celebration at his home re-entered a not guilty plea Tuesday and was ordered to return to court on Nov. 19 for a trial-readiness conference.
Armando Figueroa Jr., 35, remains out of custody after posting $75,000 bond. He is accused of molesting the young girl last year at a house he shares with his parents in Coachella, and faces a maximum sentence of roughly 18 years in state prison if convicted as charged.
Figueroa faces 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 is charged with five misdemeanors: 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.
In a preliminary hearing earlier this month at the Larson Justice Center in Indio, Riverside County Superior Court Judge Otis Sterling ruled that prosecutors presented sufficient evidence to proceed to trial.
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 defendant’s home in Coachella on March 2, 2019.
About 11 that night, Figueroa 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.
>> Want to read more stories like this? Get our Free Daily Newsletters Here!Follow us: