A former part-time recreation assistant at Reseda Park was ordered held for trial on charges of child molestation Wednesday after a 6-year-old boy testified that the city employee was one of two men who abused him in the park office.
Lars Juden, 38, who has coached young people in athletics at the park since 1983, is to be arraigned Sept. 6 in Van Nuys Superior Court. Juden, who remained in custody in lieu of $7,500 bail, faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted on two counts of molestation, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Eduards R. Abele.
In testimony Tuesday at Juden's preliminary hearing in Van Nuys Municipal Court, the child said Juden and Ronald Ray Rudd, a 39-year-old volunteer at the park, molested him more than once in the park office, although he could not say how many times.
Rudd also molested him in the van that Rudd lived in across the street from the park, the boy said.
Rudd, who admitted that he has twice been convicted of child molestation, pleaded guilty Monday to the molestations, which he said occurred during the six weeks before his and Juden's arrest Aug. 6.
Under a plea bargain, Rudd will be sentenced to at least 15 years in prison. Sentencing is set Sept. 18.
At the hearing, Detective Joseph Diglio said Juden, shortly after his arrest, signed a confession admitting the molestations.
He quoted the former park employee as saying, "If the kid didn't come to the park alone, these things wouldn't happen" and that "it was Ronald Rudd's fault because he was an influence on him."
The boy's mother testified that she allowed the boy to visit the park alone up to five times weekly in July and that she also permitted Rudd to take her son to movies and swimming.
Los Angeles parks department spokesman Al Goldfarb said Juden has been fired from his position.