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FILLMORE : Molestation Suspect Pleads Not Guilty

A Fillmore man accused of sexually molesting a 9-year-old girl 16 years ago pleaded not guilty Monday in Ventura County’s first criminal prosecution under a new state law that lifts time limitations for such prosecutions.

A preliminary hearing for James Ronnie Slay, 52, is set for March 24, prosecutors said.

In November, Slay was charged with three counts of child molestation. The alleged victim in the case is now 24. She told authorities that Slay molested her in 1979 and 1980, prosecutors said.

The victim went to authorities with her complaint last year, at the suggestion of her husband, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Maeve Fox. When the victim was 15, she reported the incidents to her mother. But the allegations were never reported to the police because the family believed too much time had elapsed to seek prosecution, Fox said. Before 1994, victims had only six years to file molestation charges.

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