Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Hector Salinas - Repeat Sex Offender - Working in Toy Store and molesting customers

A police officer testified Tuesday that a toy store owner told him he hadn’t known the man he hired was a registered sex offender until the employee was accused of molesting a customer’s son.

The store owner said he even had left his children alone with the employee, the officer said.
The store owner’s 5- and 7-year-old sons are among three boys that Hector Salinas, 35, is accused of molesting. He is being tried on charges of indecency with a child by sexual contact.

This isn’t the first time Salinas has been accused of such a crime. In 1995, he pleaded guilty to molesting and sodomizing two boys in a grocery store bathroom. He served 10 years deferred adjudication probation in that case.
He was arrested last August on the newest allegations that he inappropriately touched three boys.

The father of one of the boys said he took his 7-year-old son to the toy store on Aug. 9, 2008. He said he was looking at T-shirts when a store employee asked if his son could see a comic book. The boy told him later that day that the employee fondled him while they were in a back room of the store.

The boy, now 8, took the stand Tuesday and pointed out Salinas as the man who touched him while they were looking for action figures.

His mother cried as she told jurors that her son has blamed himself for the incident and now hates to sleep alone.

Corpus Christi Police Officer Michael Manzano said when he went to question Salinas at the store he admitted he was a registered sex offender.

The officer said that news alarmed him because he knew young children frequented the store and many times were unattended. He added that when he asked Salinas about possible video surveillance footage of the store, Salinas told him the system had malfunctioned that day.

Manzano said he later talked to the store owner who told him he hired Salinas after he had been a longtime customer. He told Manzano he didn’t know about his criminal history.

Salinas’ attorney, David Sibley has accused authorities of unfairly targeting his client and of fabricating evidence.

Sibley brought up that the 8-year-old boy’s parents have sued the store owner and insinuated they had ulterior motives. He noted testimony from two forensic nurse examiners who said they found no visible injuries during exams of the three boys.

Prosecutors Anna Jimenez and Sandra Eastwood pointed out no injuries didn’t mean much because the allegations are that Salinas fondled the boys over their clothing.

The trial continues at 8:30 a.m. today in 94th District Judge Bobby Galvan’s court.

"25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years"
.........Sarah Tofte

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