SAN JOSE (BCN) — A Santa Clara County sheriff’s correctional deputy accused of molesting a girl four years ago in San Jose made his first court appearance Thursday afternoon since his arrest earlier this week.
Anthony Felix Diaz, 33, of Santa Clara, appeared at the Hall of Justice in San Jose where he was arraigned on two felony counts of child molestation and misdemeanor child endangerment involving another victim earlier this year.
The first two counts stem from an alleged sexual abuse of a girl four years ago while off-duty, prosecutors said.
Diaz appeared in a red Alameda County Jail uniform before Superior Court Judge Arthur Bocanegra, who ordered the suspect have no contact with the victims.
The 33-year-old man is scheduled to return to court on May 23 for a plea hearing and his attorneys plan on asking the judge to set bail.
“My focus on this case as with all sexual assault cases is ensuring a just outcome for the victims, making sure that the process is fair and holding accountable the person who committed these acts,” Santa Clara
County Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Beardsley said after Thursday’s hearing.
Diaz faces 23 years to life in prison if convicted on the charges, Beardsley said.
The attorney declined to provide more specific details on the case including the relationship between the suspect and victims.
On Monday, San Jose police learned about the allegations from four years ago and arrested Diaz on a warrant on suspicion of sexual abuse of a 9-year-old girl.
The alleged molestation happened while he lived with the child and her mother in the 100 block of Cedar Lane in the spring of 2012, police said.
Diaz is employed as a correctional deputy and has been placed on unpaid administrative leave, sheriff’s officials said.
He has been booked into Santa Clara County Jail, where he is being held without bail, according to online jail records.
Sheriff Laurie Smith and the Santa Clara County Correctional Peace Officers’ Association issued statements earlier this week that expressed their disapproval of the alleged crimes.
Diaz remains in custody at the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin without bail, according to online jail records.