A Los Angeles-area man pleaded no contest Tuesday in San Diego to 100 counts of child molestation stemming from three years of attacks on a girl who used to live in the same house.
James Armagost, 42, faces a maximum sentence of 141 years in state prison when he is sentenced Dec. 4, but Superior Court Judge Allan J. Preckle said that if Armagost makes the court appearance, then the longest term he will receive will be 52 years.
Armagost is currently free on his own recognizance because he was nearly killed in an accident that killed a co-worker. The pair were steam-cleaning the exterior of a building when scaffolding collapsed, breaking Armagost's back.
Deputy Dist. Atty. David Rubin asked that Armagost be taken into custody, but the judge refused, citing the defendant's medical condition.
Defense attorney Robert Carter McDaniel said his client was in a "unique situation" because he "was not out hunting down victims."
McDaniel began looking for court-approved psychologists Tuesday in the hope of generating a report that will persuade Preckle to grant Armagost probation instead of time in state prison.
The attacks occurred from September, 1988, to August, 1991. The victim, who is now 15 years old, lived in an Ocean Beach house with Armagost.