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Girl Told Mother, Investigation Followed : TV Program Prompts Molestation Trial

Times Staff Writer

Two years ago, after watching a television program on child molestation, a 9-year-old Canyon Country girl told her mother that she was being sexually molested by her baby sitter’s husband, the mother testified in San Fernando Municipal Court Monday.

The child’s report, prompted by the TV program, “Child Molestation: Better Safe than Sorry,” led to an investigation that resulted in charges that the suspect also molested five other children.

At a preliminary hearing on Monday, Judge Paul I. Metzler ordered the baby sitter’s husband, Franklin Leroy Peyton, 38, of Canyon Country, to stand trial May 12 in Superior Court on 12 counts of child molestation. A 13th count was dismissed for lack of evidence.

The molestations allegedly took place from Feb. 15, 1984, to May 19, 1984, at or near Peyton’s home in the 18900 block of Felbridge Street, where Peyton’s wife, Tracy, cared for neighborhood children along with their own four children, court records showed.

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Charges Involve 6 Children

The charges alleged Peyton molested six children from 3 to 11 years old.

The girl’s statements to sheriff’s deputies two years ago led to Peyton’s arrest on June 12, 1984, but the district attorney’s office refrained from filing charges pending further investigation, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Pam Schrick said. Peyton was subsequently arrested in February, 1985, in Colorado on suspicion of sexually molesting three children there, Schrick said.

Peyton was serving a 16-year prison term in Colorado on those charges when he was extradited to California to stand trial for the Canyon Country incidents, Schrick said.

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