Suspect in Molestations Pleads Not Guilty

The custodian of a Canoga Park church and day school pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges he molested three 11-year-old girls he lured from a playground into a classroom.

Cesar Delacruz, 38, of Van Nuys was charged with six counts of molestation following his arrest Tuesday, authorities said. Delacruz, who was being held in lieu of $105,000 bail, could face 20 years in prison if convicted.

Los Angeles police said Delacruz had worked for two years as a custodian at St. Martin-in-the-Fields church and day school. He was arrested after the parents of one of the girls who was molested reported the incident to police.

The victims are not students at the school but live in the area and had gone to the school's playground at Winnetka Avenue and Sherman Way to play, Deputy Dist. Atty. Andrew W. Diamond said. The girls were lured into an empty classroom and molested, the prosecutor said.

Detective Bob Hart said an investigation of Delacruz is continuing, but so far there is no evidence of other alleged molestation victims.

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