Two more men have alleged to police that they were molested as children by Stanley Jenson, who pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges that he molested a boy 13 years ago and then fled to Australia.
Two men separately called La Habra police Tuesday night after reading news accounts about Jenson, 46, formerly of La Habra, and told Detective Kirk Lotzgesell that the molestation suspect also molested them as boys, Lotzgesell said.
Jenson, an attorney who practiced in Brea, was charged in 1981 with 21 felony counts of misconduct with a minor. The charges involved a 13-year-old neighbor he had hired to mow his lawn.
Lotzgesell said that one of the men who came forward this week said he had been molested three times between the ages of 14 and 16.
The man, whom Lotzgesell described as a North Orange County resident now in his late 20s, "told me he said that, obviously, he is relieved that Mr. Jenson is in custody, not so much because of what he did to him, but because this meant he will not do this to other little kids."
After news of Jenson's arrest appeared in the paper, the detective said, the man informed his family of the alleged molestations for the first time.
In North County Municipal Court Wednesday, Jenson's attorney, Mike McDonnell, entered a not-guilty plea and asked that bail be set at $1 million.
"Bottom line is," he said after the arraignment, "he was coming back here to surrender anyway."
But Supervising Deputy Dist. Atty. Charles J. Middleton, who heads the Orange County district attorney office's sexual assault and child abuse unit, disagreed. He said that because Jenson fled before, and as a lawyer knew the ramifications of the charges, he should be held without bail. And because there could be more than one victim, "it's a much more serious case," he said, asking that bail be set at $5 million.
Judge Stephen J. Sundvold set bail at $2 million. A preliminary hearing was set for May 11.
Jenson, wearing an orange jumpsuit, said in a sonorous voice from behind a wire cage that he understood he was waiving his right to have a hearing within two weeks.
Before the arraignment, Jenson's mother said she was not sure what to make of the case. Asked if she thought her son was innocent, she said, "I don't know for sure. I wasn't there" at the time and hadn't been with him constantly since he grew up.
She said she plans to visit him in Orange County Jail today and that she has been "keeping busy and trying to understand what happened." She said she has received hundreds of telephone calls since his arrest.
Jenson fled to Australia in December, 1981, a few weeks after molestation charges were filed. He began a new life there as a stage manager with a theater company, calling himself Stuart Thomas Allen, Middleton said. Jenson was aware then, his attorney said, that a warrant for his arrest had been issued in California.
Jenson, who is single, stayed there until March 20, 1994, when he apparently learned that Australian officials planned to deport him because of his living there illegally, Lotzgesell said.
The deportation effort began after Jenson was charged in 1992 with possession of marijuana. When Australian authorities ran his fingerprints, they found out he was there under an alias and contacted La Habra police. Australian officials "kept on it, knowing that we wanted him," Lotzgesell said, and in November, 1993, they began the deportation paperwork.
Jenson bought a ticket for South Africa, Germany and England, his attorney said, and went to South Africa on March 20.
On April 1, he was arrested in South Africa on an international arrest warrant and was in custody there until April 9, when U.S. marshals could bring him back, Lotzgesell said. La Habra police detectives took custody of him on April 10.
He could face a 42-year sentence if found guilty on 11 counts of oral copulation, 10 counts of child molestation, and two counts of possession and distribution of marijuana in the United States. The sentence could be even longer, depending on whether charges are filed in connection with the men who called police this week.
Jenson became a suspect in 1981 after he reported he had been burglarized and named several youths as possible suspects, including the 13-year-old. When questioned, the boy said Jenson had molested him, Lotzgesell said.
That person, now 26, wants to cooperate with the prosecution because "it's a chapter in life that needs to be closed," Lotzgesell said.
The man now lives in the Midwest with a wife and two children, Lotzgesell said.
Times Staff Writer Mark I. Pinsky contributed to this report.