Trial ordered in Livingston incest case

04/28/2014 10:19 PM

04/29/2014 4:51 PM

A 40-year-old Livingston man, accused of fathering two children with a teenage relative, has been ordered to stand trial in Merced County.

Arturo Morales, also known as Rolando Sanchez, has pleaded not guilty to three counts of incest and one count of lewd and lascivious acts with a teenager, all felonies, according to Merced Superior Court records.

Morales was bound over for trial Thursday by Judge Ronald W. Hansen after a preliminary hearing, according to Matthew Serratto, the deputy district attorney prosecuting the case.

Morales was ordered to return to court May 8 for arraignment.

Morales’ attorney, Deputy Public Defender Christopher Loethen said DNA test results are pending in the case.

Loethen noted the alleged victim in the case testified that she is not angry with Morales.

“She said repeatedly that she bears him no ill will,” Loethen said.

Serratto acknowledged the woman said she cared for her relative and did not want to see him get in trouble. However, Serratto said, she also testified that he is the father of her two children.

Livingston police first looked into possible sexual misconduct involving Morales and a 16-year-old relative in 2012, but a lack of physical evidence and lack of cooperation from the alleged victim stalled the investigation.

Police said they obtained additional evidence earlier this year but have declined to elaborate to protect their investigation. Morales was arrested April 4.

Investigators believe Morales began having sexual intercourse with the alleged victim when she was 15 years old, police said previously.

Editor's Choice Videos

Join the Discussion

Merced Sun-Star is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Terms of Service