Trial begins for man accused of molesting child, bribing her with candy

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Trial began Wednesday for a man accused of molesting a girl on multiple occasions beginning when she was 4 years old and bribing her with candy to keep quiet.

The charges against Jaime Mora, 55, include continuous sexual abuse of a child and three other offenses related to engaging in sex acts with a minor.

Police arrested Mora in 2019 after he apologized during a call made by the alleged victim demanding an explanation as to why he abused her, according to police reports filed in court.

“I was crazy,” Mora said in the 18-minute call recorded and transcribed by investigators. “Um, please forgive me.”

The accuser goes into detail about the molestation she says she suffered by Mora, and tells him it continues to haunt her, the court documents say.

“Oh, my God. Please forgive me. I’m, I’m done. I’m, I don’t know what is gonna happen to me, uh, and to you. I, please forgive me, and you need to continue with your life,” Mora says. He tells her he needs to get help.

Prosecutor Nick Lackie on Wednesday told the jury Mora never denied the abuse during the call or told the girl he didn’t know what she was talking about. He admitted to it and asked her to forgive him.

But defense lawyer Kyle J. Humphrey said Mora agreed only with certain things his accuser said in an effort to keep the conversation going and get specifics about the allegations. During the call, Humphrey noted, Mora says he doesn’t remember certain incidents, then says he remembers some things but not others.

Mora’s wife was in the room during the call, Humphrey said. She kept motioning for Mora to prolong the call for the purposes of gathering information.

The allegations against Mora surfaced in September 2019 after the accuser’s mother told police her daughter came forward about the abuse after another relative, now in her 30s, alleged Mora had molested her when she was 14, according to the documents.

The alleged victim told police Mora made her watch pornographic videos and asked her inappropriate questions about her body when she was 4 years old. She said repeated instances of sexual abuse followed.

Mora gave her candy and told her not to tell anyone about what happened or they would both get in trouble, she told investigators.

Humphrey told the jury both the woman in her 30s and the accuser continued to act warmly toward Mora even years after the alleged abuse occurred. He said the woman in her 30s “has been through some rough times” and had been estranged from her family.

It was during yet another argument with her family that the woman claimed Mora had molested her, the attorney said.

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