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VALLEY ROUNDUP | Simi Valley

Man to Be Tried on Molestation Charges

November 09, 2000|HOLLY J. WOLCOTT

A 63-year-old Simi Valley grandfather has been ordered to stand trial on suspicion of committing lewd acts with three young girls, a prosecutor said Wednesday.

John Berry is accused of six felonies, which are all charges of committing a lewd act with a child under the age of 14, said Ventura County Deputy Dist. Atty. Ernesto Acosta.

According to Acosta, Berry allegedly touched and molested the girls, now ages 10, 11 and 12, inside his Simi Valley home between 1997 and this past March. The girls, two of whom live in his neighborhood, were at his home visiting his grandchildren.

Berry was arrested last month after one of the alleged victims told family members, who in turn reported the matter to police. Berry was originally jailed for crimes involving that alleged victim and had posted bail, but was later rearrested and jailed on a higher bail when additional girls came forward, Acosta said.

During a preliminary hearing Tuesday, Acosta played a tape for the court in which Berry allegedly admits to molesting one of the girls, the prosecutor said. The call had been set up by the alleged victim and detectives.

A Superior Court arraignment was scheduled for Nov. 21. Berry remained in jail Wednesday night in lieu of $500,000 bail.

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