PANORAMA CITY – A 26-year-old man will be arraigned today after being ordered to stand trial on charges related to the sexual abuse of a 5-year-old girl who was lost at the mall. Jorge Enriquez Lopez Maza, also known as Julio Ramirez-Sarmiento of Van Nuys, was held to answer for one count of kidnapping to commit a lewd act on a child and one count of lewd act upon a child Deputy District Attorney Julie Kramer said.
Preliminary hearing testimony revealed that on April 21, 2016, the small girl was at the Panorama Mall with her grandmother. The girl somehow became separated from her grandmother and Lopez Maza allegedly approached the child convincing her to go with him to find her grandmother.
Rather than leading her to her grandmother or mall security, Lopez Maza led her outside the mall to an isolated area in the parking lot behind metal recycling bins to sexually assault her. The child was able to run away and scream. A good Samaritan heard the scream and chased Lopez Maza for several blocks to a local market where he was apprehended by law enforcement.
The defendant will be arraigned at the San Fernando Superior Court on Friday. He is currently in custody and being held in lieu of $1 million bail. Lopez Maza can face 25 years to life in prison if convicted as charged.
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