A Santa Nella man will appear in court later this week to answer more than a dozen charges of sending sexual messages to multiple teenage girls via Facebook and having sex with a 17-year-old girl.
Jose Pulido, 22, has pleaded not guilty to a single felony count of unlawful sexual intercourse and sending harmful matter to a minor, five felony counts of contacting a minor with intent to commit a sexual offense and six misdemeanor counts of child molestation, according to the complaint filed in Merced Superior Court.
In all, Pulido is charged with victimizing 13 underage girls, mostly through social media websites, the complaint states.
Michael McKinney, the Merced County deputy district attorney prosecuting the case, said that if convicted, Pulido could face more than nine years in prison and be required to register as a sex offender for life. McKinney declined to discuss specifics of the case.
“If another victim were to come forward, we would investigate that as appropriate,” McKinney said.
Pulido’s attorney, Merced County Deputy Public Defender Sean Howard, could not be reached for comment Monday.
News of Pulido’s suspected activities surfaced in March, when the mother of a 13-year-old girl found messages “of a sexual nature” allegedly sent by Pulido to her daughter’s Facebook account, according to a report filed by the Merced County Sheriff’s Department.
The girl told Pulido she was 13, according to the report, but he continued to encourage her to meet him for intercourse at a motel he worked at in Santa Nella. Pulido allegedly communicated with the girl several times between Jan. 27 and March 2, the report says.
In one message dated Feb. 22, “Pulido talks explicitly with (the alleged victim) about sexual subject matter and (tries) to get (the victim) to meet him at his work place and says they can “do whatever we want,” the report says.
The report goes on to say Pulido admitted having sex with a 17-year-old girl from Los Banos he also met through Facebook. He also apparently had communicated with other underage girls on Facebook and “ ... he would have most likely had sex with them even though he knew they were underage,” the report says.
Pulido remains in custody at the Merced County Jail on more than $900,000 bail, according to court records.
He is scheduled to appear in court again Wednesday before Judge Marc A. Garcia.
Staff writer Rob Parsons can be reached at (209) 385-2482 or firstname.lastname@example.org.