Simi Man Faces Another 38 Charges of Sexual Assault : Crime: Prosecutors say ex-convict raped or fondled nine junior high students a total of 43 times since April. He earlier pleaded not guilty to original five counts.
Accused child molester Victor M. Becerra was charged Thursday with 38 additional counts of sexually assaulting young girls in Simi Valley.
Prosecutors now allege the ex-convict raped or fondled nine junior high school students in Simi Valley--five more than previously believed--a total of 43 times since April, the city’s largest case of sexual molestation by one individual in recent memory.
At a brief hearing, Ventura County Superior Court Judge Thomas Hutchins increased bail for the 27-year-old factory worker from $100,000 to $250,000. Becerra is scheduled to return to court next week to determine whether he will stand trial on the charges.
Simi Valley police arrested Becerra three weeks ago after one teen-ager reported that she had been raped.
Becerra pleaded not guilty to the original five charges last month. His attorney, Fred Rogers, declined to comment Thursday on the new charges.
Deputy Dist. Atty. Mike Frawley said Thursday that he earlier suspected Becerra had committed additional sexual assaults against victims age 12 to 15, but did not have time to investigate them all before filing the initial charges.
Our first priority was to get him off the street,” Frawley said. “It would have been irresponsible for us not to bring him in as soon as possible.”
Becerra, a Simi Valley resident, was convicted in 1991 for tying up his former girlfriend and threatening her with a machete and an X-acto knife. He was sentenced to four months in jail for the offense and was still on probation at the time of his Oct. 26 arrest.
Police believe that beginning last spring Becerra spent his free time trolling arcades and convenience stores in Simi Valley’s west end in search of sexual encounters with preteen and teen-age girls.
Becerra allegedly hung out at the Family Fun Zone, and at 7-Eleven and Circle K stores where he introduced himself as “R. B.” or “Ruben” and said he was 19 years old. Becerra was a slick talker who conversed easily with the young victims, according to Simi Valley Detective Gary Galloway.
“He sweet-talked them into thinking he was a nice guy,” Galloway said. “He’d compliment and flatter them.”
And Becerra would offer them rides in his white Nissan Sentra coupe, police said.
Once inside the car, Becerra would quickly attempt to molest his victims by grabbing and touching them intimately, Galloway said.
If a victim was moderately compliant, Becerra invited them to visit his rented room and would attempt to rape them, Galloway said.
He would turn on music, offer the girl wine, beer or marijuana and restrain her before sexually assaulting her, Galloway said.