A 43-year-old convicted sex offender pleaded not guilty Friday to charges of improperly touching three residents in their homes, peeping and touching himself outside one victim’s home, a prosecutor said.
Jeffrey Robert Smith’s bail was increased from $200,000 to $1 million at his arraignment, according to Deputy District Attorney Bobby Taghavi.
The Costa Mesa resident is accused of getting into at least three homes and touching two females and one male in a sexual manner from May through July 16, Taghavi said. On at least one occasion, Smith touched himself outside a victim’s home, the prosecutor alleged.
Smith was arrested July 16 naked on a resident’s porch in the 2100 block of Orange Avenue, according to Costa Mesa police.
In April, Smith was arrested for failing to register as a sex offender in Costa Mesa and was sentenced to 60 days in jail, according to police. In May, Smith was arrested again in Costa Mesa on suspicion of battery and trespassing, police said.
Smith is charged with a count of assault with intent to commit a sexual offense during a first-degree burglary, two counts of first-degree residential burglary of an inhabited dwelling, a count of elder and dependent adult abuse, all felonies.
He also faces two counts of sexual battery, a count of indecent exposure, a count of a lewd act in public, five counts of peeking, four counts of prowling, one count of unauthorized entry of a dwelling, a count of of aggravated trespass of a dwelling and a count of possession of a controlled substance paraphernalia, all misdemeanors.
He also faces a sentencing enhancement for being a non-accomplice present during a residential burglary and committing a crime against a vulnerable victim.
Smith could face up to 15 years and four months to life in prison if convicted at trial.
Any victims or additional witnesses with information about Smith were urged to contact Costa Mesa police Detective Rob Hanson at (714) 754-5162, or District Attorney investigator Mark Gutierrez at (714) 347-8794.
— City News Service