BELLINGHAM - A Bellingham man has entered an Alford Plea for an assault on a toddler.
Under the plea, Fernando "Wicked" Paz, 21, aka Richie Paz, maintained his innocence but admitted there might be enough evidence to convict him of touching the girl's groin at a Bellingham apartment.
A babysitter was in bed with the girl when Paz came into the room on an afternoon in October 2011. According to the babysitter's original story, Paz made some unwanted advances. All charges related to sexual misconduct directed at the babysitter were later dropped.
Prosecutors alleged when the woman rejected Paz, he briefly molested the girl instead. The babysitter didn't see what had happened, but the toddler yowled and said, "It hurt," according to charging documents filed in Whatcom County Superior Court.
Paz pleaded guilty to second-degree assault, a felony, on Feb. 28. Judge Ira Uhrig handed down a sentence of three months of work release or in-custody work crew.
Paz had no felony history as an adult in Washington state. But court records show he has past had run-ins with the law for illegal possession of marijuana, alcohol and weapons.