Released California sex offender charged with molesting boys

TULARE, Calif. (AP) — A registered sex offender who was freed after a judge said his right to a speedy trial was violated by a 17-year delay has been charged with sexually abusing two children in California’s Central Valley.

Jorge Vasquez was charged with eight counts of child molestation for allegedly fondling two boys ages 6 to 10 years old in Tulare and San Luis Obispo counties between June 2018 and this week, according to a criminal complaint made public Tuesday.

Vasquez, 48, also is charged with a count of failing to register as a sex offender.

The charges include special allegations involving multiple victims and his previous sex offenses. Vasquez could face up to life in prison if convicted.

Vasquez was arrested Sunday by police in Porterville. It wasn’t immediately clear whether he had an attorney to speak on his behalf.

The alleged abuse began less than six months after Vasquez was released from Coalinga State Hospital, Tulare County District Attorney Tim Ward said.

Vasquez was sentenced to 12 years in prison after pleading no contest to molesting four boys ages 6 to 8 in 1994 after luring them into a South Los Angeles alleyway with the promise of candy, the Los Angeles Times reported, citing court records.

In 2000, Los Angeles County prosecutors sought to have him indefinitely committed to a state hospital as a sexually violent predator.

But Vasquez never received a trial date, as five different public defenders were assigned over 17 years, each asking for a trial delay.

In 2018, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge James Bianco granted a motion to dismiss the case against Vasquez, ruling his constitutional right to a speedy trial had been violated, the Times said.