General Crime

* John Astor, a Walnut Creek School Janitor, Pleaded Not Guilty to 20 Felony Child Molestation Counts

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A Walnut Creek school janitor arrested last month for allegedly molesting two boys pleaded not guilty to 20 felony child molestation counts Thursday after police found three more victims in the case, authorities said. Deputy District Attorney Ryan Wagner said prosecutors filed ten of those charges against 44-year-old John Astor this week in connection with the three additional victims who told police the Walnut Creek man had molested them when they were under 14 years old.

Police arrested Astor on Dec. 22 on suspicion of lewd acts against a child under 14 for allegedly molesting a boy in Walnut Creek last year, and in connection with molestation of a boy who is now an adult more than five years ago, according to police. After the arrest, Walnut Creek police urged other potential victims in the community to report the abuse and discovered the three additional boys.

Police said Astor did not know the first two reported victims through his job as a custodian at multiple Mt. Diablo Unified School District campuses, but authorities today declined to give more details about the three additional victims in order to protect their identities.

Astor is now being held on $3 million bail and is due back in Contra Costa County Superior Court on Feb. 2 to set a preliminary hearing date, Wagner said.

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