A 44-year-old man who previously was listed as one of Merced County's Most Wanted faces up to six years in state prison, after pleading no contest last week to allegations he molested three girls in Livingston.
Rafael Jimenez last week was convicted in Merced County Superior Court on three felony counts of child molestation. The three girls were under the age of 15 when the crimes happened between 2002 and 2010, according to Deputy District Attorney Monika Saini, the prosecutor in the case.
The Livingston Police Depart- ment's investigation into the case started in September 2010.
Saini said the defendant fled the country after learning about the department's investigation. However, Jimenez later returned to the United States, and the Merced County Sheriff's STAR Team arrested him on the outstanding warrant in September 2011, after he was found in Manteca.
Jimenez pleaded to each count for each victim he was suspected of molesting.
A sentencing date hasn't been determined yet in the case. Judge Marc Garcia will sentence Jimenez after reports are submitted by the county's probation department and doctors.
Jimenez remains at the Merced County Jail without bail.