Charges Rise, More Victims Of Alleged Pedophile Downs
Updated: Wednesday, 3:35 p.m.
Alleged pedophile, 19-year-old Michael Downs of Valencia, racked up five additional sex related charges involving three new victims at his preliminary hearing this morning at the San Fernando Courthouse.
“So now we’re looking at a total of 34 counts involving 17 victims,” said Spokesperson Jane Robison from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. (Robison later amended her statement to say there were only 15 victims.)
According to the amended complaint, four of the new counts are for felonies and one is a misdemeanor. The previous 29 counts were all felonies.
One of the new alleged female victims is described as being under the age of 14. Robison confimed the girl is 13 years-old. Downs is charged with two counts of Lewd Act Upon A Child involving the girl.
Charges of Unlawful Sexual Intercourse and Sexual Penetration By A Foreign Object are being filed on behalf of another new victim who is described as being under the age of 18. Robison confimed the girl is 15 years-old.
The misdemeanor charge of Sexual Battery involves a third new victim whose age was not stated. Robison confimed the girl is 14 years-old. In this count Downs accused of willfully and unlawfully touching an intimate part of the female’s body against her will and for the specific purpose of sexual arousal, sexual gratification and sexual abuse.
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Special Victims Bureau Detective Rich Simmons says he began his investigation involving Downs the second week of December when victims reported the crimes to unnamed school officials. By December 15 Simmons felt he had enough information to take Downs into custody at his school Bowman High.
Downs is alleged to have met his victims at the Westfield Town Center and corresponded with them on internet social networking sites including Facebook and Formspring.
The alleged sexual charges occurred over a 19-month period between May 2010 until he was taken into custody in December 2011.
Downs appeared in court this morning where his attorney requested that the arraignment be continued. L.A. County Prosecutor Kareen O’Brien objected, but the judge agreed and the arraignment was put over to February 6.
Downs did not enter a plea due to the continuance.
Downs’ bail of $1.8 million was unchanged.