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The State

San Francisco prosecutors have declined to bring charges against an Army officer and satanic priest who had been accused of molesting a 3-year-old girl. Deputy Dist. Atty. Michael Williams said police were unable to verify allegations against Lt. Col. Michael A. Aquino, 41, a reservist and intelligence specialist, and Gary Hambright, a former Army day-care center employee. Williams said he believed the child’s story, but the case was dropped because “there was insufficient evidence to prove it . . . beyond a reasonable doubt.” The girl told authorities she was driven to Aquino’s house in the Russian Hill section by Hambright and was molested by a man she later identified as Aquino. The girl said one room in Aquino’s home was painted black. Police found such a room. Aquino’s “Temple of Set,” founded in 1975 as an offshoot of the San Francisco-based Church of Satan, was described by followers as an “occult Mensa"--a path to self-fulfillment through black magic. Aquino said: “This never should have happened in the first place.”


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