EVERSON - An Everson man has pleaded guilty to a non-sex crime in what was originally filed as a child sex abuse case.
Prosecutors nixed much of the victim's account in new documents filed in late February. In the original charges, the victim alleged her babysitter, Leodegario Flores-Marquez, 57, raped and molested her at least twice on the trails of Riverside Park, when she was younger than 10.
But further investigation found "improbabilities" in her story, Deputy Prosecutor Elizabeth Gallery said this week.
"It wasn't any one factor," Gallery added. "It was a multitude of things, when taken as a whole, (that) might have put a reasonable doubt in the minds of the jury."
The new narrative trims the charges down to four terse paragraphs. The original story spanned three single-spaced pages. Each explicit reference to sexual contact was removed. Instead, prosecutors claimed the girl "was assaulted/touched (sic) by Leodegario Flores-Marquez on the trails in the park. (She) did not consent to the touching."
Flores-Marquez admitted guilt to third-degree assault, a felony, agreeing to spend three months in jail with credit for time already served. He had denied any sexual misconduct when interviewed by deputies in August 2012.
His defense attorney, Lee Grochmal, noted prosecutors had "proof problems." She declined to comment further. Flores-Marquez had no criminal history.
Reach Caleb Hutton at email@example.com or 360-715-2276. Read his Dispatcher blog at blogs.bellinghamherald.com/dispatcher or get updates on Twitter at @bhamcrime.