LAS VEGAS (AP) — A California ex-convict who neighborhood children called “grandpa” stood shackled in a Las Vegas courtroom Monday while a judge scheduled a Feb. 3 preliminary hearing of allegations that he offered candy to lure young girls into his apartment and committed sex acts with them.
Jose Azucena, 63, had a Spanish-language translator for Last Vegas Justice Court appearance and did not speak.
His court-appointed attorney did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.
Azucena is being held at the Clark County jail without bail on 10 felony charges, including child sexual assault, lewdness and kidnapping — which could get him life in state prison if he’s convicted.
Las Vegas police said they were trying to determine how many children may have been lured with promises of candy into Azucena’s apartment at a complex east of downtown.
An arrest report said the alleged victims were as young as 7 and 8 years old.
It accuses Azucena, who also used the name David Azucena, of groping, kissing and exposing himself to several children during the last year. At least two of the children were sisters.
Some told investigators that Azucena also showed them cellphone videos depicting adults involved in sex acts.
Azucena allegedly told the children that if they told their mothers what he had done, “”he would take the girls far away and then kill their mothers.”
Records show that Azucena served time in California state prison after being convicted of manslaughter and sentenced in May 1991 in Los Angeles County to 18 years.
One mother told detectives her daughters tell her they have nightmares about Azucena standing at their windows at night.