CEDAR CITY – A 32-year-old is being held on an immigration detainer after he allegedly sexually assaulted a 7-year-old female “thousands of times.”
Victor Francisco Michel-Lara, who retains a Cedar City residence, is facing two first-degree felony charges for rape of a child.
He’s also being held on an immigration detainer for allegedly living in the U.S illegally.
According to court documents, Michel-Lara may also “be guilty of aggravated re-entry into the United States,” after he was previously deported back to Mexico following an arrest on unrelated criminal charges.
Under the U.S. code, aggravated re-entry is described as anyone who is removed from the United States following conviction of an “aggravated” felony and subsequently re-enters the country without proper documentation. The maximum penalty is 20 years in prison and is considered a felony offense.
The charging documents filed in 5th District Court Monday regarding this case state that the child told investigators in Spanish that Michel-Lara had molested her “many times in the last six months.”
She also said he had raped her “thousands of times.”
The defendant admitted to several incidents but explained to police that the assaults were unintentional and happened when he was applying lotion to her skin, the documents stated.
Describing to authorities in Spanish what occurred, Michel-Lara allegedly said the rape accidentally ensued when the suspect and the child were “rough housing” and “jumping around” following a shower on two different occasions.
Cedar City Police Officer Matt Topham wrote in his statement he believed Michel-Lara is a flight risk as the mother of the child told investigators that he had spoken to her about his “desire to travel to Washington to visit other family members.”
“In fact, she stated that he quit his job recently in order to make this trip,” Topham said. “She was not sure if he meant Washington State or Washington D.C.”
Michel-Lara was booked into the Iron County Correctional Facility Sunday with $200,000 cash-only bail required for his release pending trial.
Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.
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