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Suspect Pleads Not Guilty to Abducting, Molesting Girl, 6

TIMES STAFF WRITER

A 24-year-old Oceanside man pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges that he kidnaped and molested a 6-year-old Vista girl.

Douglas Leroy Dannat, an unemployed auto mechanic, was charged with abducting a 6-year-old girl Sunday while she was playing with her 5-year-old sister in front of their home on Bonair Road.

Dannat, who had been convicted of a misdemeanor child molestation in 1988 in Vista, was also charged with three counts of forcible child molestation, one count of attempted child molestation and another count of child molestation with a prior offense, all of which are felonies.

“The 6-year-old victim was grabbed, pulled into a car, was driven off, and it stopped somewhere and there was a complaint that a sexual assault occurred,” Deputy Dist. Atty. Douglas Gregg said.

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After receiving a 911 call at 12:58 p.m., sheriff’s deputies staked out the roads leading from the area. Half an hour later, deputies spotted Dannat’s car and pulled it over in the 1000 block of Kari Lane in Bonsall, about 4 miles from where the girl was abducted.

Dannat was arrested without incident, and the girl was recovered.

Vista Municipal Judge David Ryan prohibited the media from taking pictures of Dannat at the arraignment, saying that to do so would jeopardize other “ongoing investigations in which identification is an issue.”

If convicted of all charges, Dannat could be sentenced to up to 33 years, Gregg said.

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Ryan also granted Gregg’s request to raise Dannat’s bail from $20,000 to $500,000, over the objections of Mary Gaines, the public defender representing Dannat.

“This is an early Christmas present for me, getting this guy off the streets,” Gregg said.

The 6-year-old girl, whose identity was not released because of her age, did not suffer any physical injuries, although she was struck during the incident, Gregg said.

Dannat’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for Jan. 7.

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