Accused pedophile Wade Bughman’s defense attorney today will tell a Pasadena Superior Court jury that his client didn’t molest students at a Duarte elementary school.
Prosectuors told a different story on Tuesday. Here’s what Brenda Gazzar reported.
Closing arguments began Tuesday for the trial of Wade Bughman of Monrovia, 43, who was charged with crimes of a sexual nature against five girls over a period of 15 years while he taught at Beardslee Elementary School in Duarte.
The nine counts against Bughman include oral copulation of a person under 14, the crime of continual sexual abuse, forcible rape, sexual penetration with a foreign object and lewd acts upon a child.
With enlarged photos of the five young girls smiling behind her, Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Debra Archuleta told jurors the girls endured physical, emotional and psychological abuse at the hands of a pedophile that robbed them of their innocence.
Many of the girls were shy or submissive and some sat in the back of the classroom, she said. They were allegedly molested at lunch, during recess or after school in the “Think Together Program.”
Some of the girls in his class called him “rapist” and had code words to warn others they needed help, Archuleta said. She described Bughman as a “practiced and skilled manipulator” in satisfying his own lusts and desires.
EL MONTE – A former assistant high school wrestling coach who ran a children’s wrestling program in Rosemead will be arraigned Friday in El Monte Superior Court on charges he sexually molested two boys, officials said.
Herbert Daniel Ortizmonroy, also known as Herbert Daniel Ortiz, was arrested at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico and deported back to California this week, according to Sandi Gibbons, a spokeswoman for the District Attorney’s Office.
The 29-year-old Baldwin Park man is a U.S. citizen. His bail is $1 million.
Gibbons said Ortiz was charged last month with three counts of lewd acts upon a child and two of oral copulation of a person under the age of 16.
The criminal complaint alleged the crimes occurred between 2008 and 2010 and involved a 14-year-old victim. One of the molestation charges refers to a 2002 incident when the second victim was under 14, officials said.
Gibbons said the case came to light when one of the victims ran across Ortiz’s account on Facebook, then made a made a video incorporating some of the Facebook material.
The other victim’s mother saw the video on YouTube.
Ortiz was an assistant wrestling coach at Rosemead High School from 2007 to 2009, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said. At least one of the accusers was on the wrestling team during that time.
Ortiz founded the Bad News Panthers Kids’ Wrestling Program in Rosemead in 2010, and has worked their as coach and program director since, according to sheriff’s investigators and the program’s website.
- Staff report
LA HABRA — A La Habra man was behind bars Friday on suspicion of molesting a young girl earlier this week, officials said.
Jesus Navarro, 37, was arrested Wednesday and booked on suspicion of committing a lewd act with a child under 14 and indecent exposure, La Habra police spokeswoman Cindy Knapp said.
Officers were summoned to a residential neighborhood in the 400 block of South Bedford Street about 11 a.m. after the girl told her mother about the abuse, and the mother notified authorities, Knapp said.
Investigators interviewed and ultimately arrested Navarro in connection with the alleged crimes.
According to Orange County booking records, Navarro was being held without bail pending his scheduled arraignment Friday in Santa Ana Superior Court.
GLENDORA — Police arrested a Covina man on suspicion of molesting a woman inside a store Wednesday, officials said.
Lance Glock, 51, was booked on suspicion of sexual battery following the 10:15 a.m. incident at HomeGoods, 1239 S. Lone Hill Avenue, Glendora police Lt. Rob Lamborghini said.
A woman in her 30s was shopping in the store when Glock came up behind her, put his arms around her and sexually battered her, the lieutenant said.
The woman reported the incident to police, who located and stopped a Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck matching the description given by the victim about five miles away, Lamborghini said.
Officers arrested the drive once the woman identified the driver as the man who battered her, he added.
Glock was booked at te Glendora Police Department’s jail, where he was being held in lieu of $20,000 bail pending his initial court appearance.
A 5th grade teacher was arrested Monday for alleged sexual misconduct with a child.
Roger Talley, 53, of Upland, was arrested and booked at the West Valley Detention Center on suspicion of one count of lewd acts on a child and on one count of criminal threats, according to a Chino police news release.
Talley, who worked at Walnut Elementary in the Chino Valley Unified School District, had been the focus of a two-week investigation, officials said.
During that time. Chino police detectives spoke with current and former students of the suspect, who was placed on leave from the school district on Feb. 10, according to the news release.
Anyone with information about the incident can call police Detective Ted Olden at 909-464-0745.
- Staff report
EAST LOS ANGELES — Prosecutors Wednesday charged an East Los Angeles soccer coach with molesting a 15-year-old player as detectives investigate allegations made by a second teenager against the longtime coach, authorities said.
Javier Arrioja, 48, of East Los Angeles pleaded not guilty Wednesday to four counts of lewd acts on a minor and one count of sending harmful matter, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s and court officials said.
The alleged molestations took place between May and November of 2011.
He was arrested without incident Feb. 17 at his home in the 100 block of Townsend Avenue in East Los Angeles, Sgt. Peter Hahn of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Special Victims Bureau said.
“The lewd acts were alleged to have occurred in the suspect’s car in Obregon Park in East Los Angeles, and in the coach’s home in East Los Angeles,” the sergeant added.
Arrioja coaches soccer for a private soccer club called, “Missioneros,” for boys under 17, according to investigators.
“He has coached boys and girls soccer teams in the Los Angeles area for over 15 years,” Hahn said.
The investigation revealed a second possible victim, a 14-year-old boy, “who reported similar lewd acts committed by the suspect,” Hahn said. “The second case is still under investigation.”
According to county booking records, Arrioja was being held without bail due to a hold placed on him by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and was next scheduled to appear in East Los Angeles Superior Court for a preliminary hearing March 5.
“Sheriff’s Special Victims Bureau detectives believe it is possible there are additional victims and urge anyone who may have been a victim to contact investigators,” Hahn said. Anyone with information is asked to contact Special Victims Bureau detectives by calling 877-710-5273 or sending an e-mail to email@example.com.
Tips can also be left anonymously be calling L.A. Crimestoppers at 800-222-8477.
PHOTO of Javier Arriojo courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
WEST COVINA – A Walnut Grove Middle School teacher has been arrested on suspicion of carrying on an inappropriate relationship with a 13-year-old student, authorities said Saturday.
Devin White, 33, is suspected of lewd acts with a minor and possessing “obscene matter,” West Covina police Lt. Richard Bell said.
He was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail at the West Covina Police Department’s jail, according to county booking records.
Police were alerted about 2:30 p.m. Thursday, the lieutenant said.
“The principal received information of an inappropriate relationship between the suspect, a 33-year-old male teacher, and a 13-year-old (female) student,” Bell said.
“The investigation revealed that there was possible evidence of a relationship, and that that relationship may have been since May of this year,” Bell said.
Detectives searched White’s home, and according to booking records, he was arrested about 9:30 p.m. Thursday.
School officials sent a letter home with students Friday afternoon regarding the arrest. West Covina Unified School District officials could not be reached for comment Saturday.
WHITTIER – Three women testified Wednesday that a local doctor sexually assaulted them during breast and gynecological exams at offices in Whittier and La Mirada.
Dr. Steve Vouis, 65, is accused of six counts of sexual battery by fraud. The alleged assaults took place between 2007 and 2009 and involved five victims.
At the first portion of a preliminary hearing in Whittier Superior Court, three women took the witness stand to describe their encounters with the doctor. The hearing is expected to conclude Oct. 12.
Vouis pleaded not guilty to the allegations. He was freed after posting $125,000 bail. The case is being prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Heba Matta.
All three women, who are in their 20s and 30s, testified that Vouis inappropriately touched their nipples during breast examinations. Two of the women said he also molested them during vaginal examinations.
A 33-year-old alleged victim, identified only as Mary R. to protect her privacy, told of her experiences with the doctor when she went to his Whittier office in June 2007 for a gynecological appointment.
She said the doctor squeezed her nipples and made sexual comments about them while examining her.
During a vaginal exam, she testified that the doctor’s touching went far beyond what she had experienced in previous exams.
When she told Vouis that he was hurting her, she testified, “he ripped off my gown, threw it on the floor.”
At that point, Mary R. testified, she stopped the exam and left the office.
Jennifer Keller, the attorney representing Vouis, pointed out inconsistencies between what Mary R. testified in court, and what she wrote in notes taken the day of the appointment.
Vouis declined to comment outside the courtroom Wednesday.
Another alleged victim, identified in court as Yesica Y., told a story similar to Mary R.
The defense attorney asked Yesica Y. if she was angry over other issues, such as a billing dispute. She said she was not.
Keller also questioned why Yesica Y. allowed the exam to continue even after alleged inappropriate behavior.
Yesica Y. said she feared for her safety and her life.
Alleged victim Wendy Z. took the stand to talk about an April 2009 appointment with the doctor.
She said she became “very uncomfortable” when the doctor asked about her boyfriend.
Keller also highlighted differences between Wendy Z.’s testimony Wednesday and what she had written down shortly after the incident. Keller also asked her why she did not end the exam and leave at the first signs of impropriety.
Keller asked all the witnesses if they’ve filed lawsuits against Vouis.
When the preliminary hearing is completed next week, Whittier Superior Court Judge Cathryn Brougham will make a ruling on whether sufficient evidence has been presented to order Vouis to stand trial.
GLENDORA — A man was behind bars Thursday on suspicion of groping young women at Citrus College, and police are seeking any other potential victims, authorities said.
Glendora police arrested Jose Antonio Villatoro, 32, a transient and student at Citrus College, on suspicion of sexual battery Tuesday, Detective Jason Tibbetts said. One alleged molestation took place Monday, and three occurred Tuesday at the campus, 1000 W. Foothill Blvd.
“Villatoro approached the victims while riding a blue BMX bicycle and engaged them in conversation,” Tibbetts said. “The suspect then grabbed at the victims’ legs and buttocks.”
A campus security guard detained Villatoro until police arrived following Tuesday’s incidents, police said.
Police are seeking any other possible victims of Villatoro who have not come forward.
Anyone with information is asked to call Glendora police at 626-914-8200.
According to county booking records, Villatoro was being held in lieu of $20,000 bail and was due for arraignment today in West Covina Superior Court.
PHOTO of Jose Villatoro courtesy of the Glendora Police Department.
WHITTIER — Sheriff’s deputies arrested a man posing as a signature gatherer at Rio Hondo College Monday on suspicion of sexually assaulting several female students, authorities said.
Gregory Shiga, 33, of Hacienda Heights was booked on suspicion of sexual battery, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Detective Joanne Labella said in a written statement.
Deputies from the sheriff’s Pico Rivera Station went to the college, 3600 Workman Mill Road, shortly before 5 p.m. Monday after several young women reported being touched inappropriately by the suspect, the detective said.
“Several female students reported separate incidents in which a male had contacted them on the campus under the guise that he was collecting signatures for a petition,” Labella said. “As the student’s attention was focused on the petition, the victims reported the male touched their private parts over their clothing.”
Students and school security officers pointed out Shiga in a school office and deputies arrested him, Labella said. He was not a registered student at the campus.
According to Los Angeles County Superior Court records, Monday’s arrest is not the first time in recent months Shiga has found himself behind bars.
He was arrested in June and convicted last month of grand theft in West Covina Superior Court, and petty theft in Whittier Superior Court, records show. He was released from jail July 22.
Shiga was being held in lieu of $20,000 bail and was due in Whittier Superior Court Monday for arraignment on the sexual battery allegations.