General Crime

* The president Of The Belmont Chamber Of Commerce Michael Kazarian Pleaded Not Guilty To Molestation Charges

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The president of the Belmont Chamber of Commerce pleaded not guilty in San Mateo County Superior Court this afternoon to charges that he allegedly molested his girlfriend’s young daughter for years. Michael Kazarian, 50, has been in custody since his arrest May 18 in lieu of $1.5 million bail. He appeared in court today dressed in an orange jail jumpsuit and did not speak other than to confirm his name.A court-appointed attorney with the Private Defender Program entered Kazarian’s plea for him while Kazarian watched from behind a glass window separating those in custody with the rest of the courtroom.Kazarian is suspected of molesting his girlfriend’s daughter, who was 8 years old at the time the alleged abuse began, from November 1999 to February 2002, Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.He has been charged with 17 counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14, and one count of continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14.Wagstaffe said the girl did not report the alleged molestation for years because Kazarian allegedly threatened her, but that this year she decided to tell her mother. Her mother notified police and Kazarian was taken into custody on a $500,000 arrest warrant, Wagstaffe said.Kazarian is scheduled to return to court June 5 for his preliminary hearing.

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  • Michael Kazarian was acquitted of all charges on Friday March 12, 2010 after a jury trial.

    Jurors reported that the complaining witness was unreliable, and that her testimony was riddled with contradictions and failures of memory. By contrast, they found Michael’s testimony consistent and believable.

    Evidence the prosecutor claimed was incriminating never appeared; he promised jurors in opening statement, that he had a tape of a call with the complaining witness in which Michael allegedly admitted molestations. In truth, the tape contained no such admissions, but did show over 50 denials by Michael of any wrongdoing, no matter how much the complaining witness begged him to admit wrongdoing to help her in therapy, which was of course nonexistent.

    The complaining witness said her mother could corroborate aspects of her testimony but the mother was never put under subpoena, and never came to court.

    The complaining witness said the molestations commenced at age eight when her menarche commenced, but her medical records showed that this did not happen until she was 10 years of age. Witnesses who regularly saw the complaining witness with Michael and her mother in social settings recounted that the child was warm and friendly with Michael, as with others, showing no signs of unhappiness or reluctance to be in his presence.

    The cw denied having any relationship with her father, but her sister and father said they had a good relationship. The father offered many times to have the cw live with him while she was supposedly molested, and any person having that refuge would have taken it if she was actually being molested.

    For his part, the DA Ivan Nightengale persistently misstated the evidence and urged the jury in closing argument to disregard the court’s instructions, in an all out effort to win a conviction at any cost. it didn’t work. the jury saw through it all and acquitted an innocent man.

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