Liz Swain 4:24 p.m., May 24
"His pants' zipper was unzipped," according to Escondido police.
“I noticed that somebody kept following me,” the pretty 30-year-old Latina testified today. She said she went to the Escondido library last month, on a Tuesday afternoon. First she went to the search computer and then she went to get a book. “There he was again, each time that I would move.” She sat down with a book to read. “He would keep standing in front of me.” Finally she looked at him. “I saw his penis.”
Escondido Police Officer Marco Fuentes arrived sometime after 3 p.m. and contacted the suspect. “I did notice his pants’ zipper was unzipped,” the officer told a judge today, at a preliminary hearing in San Diego Superior Court.
Officer Fuentes said he also noticed the man wore no underwear.
Omar Esaud Sorto, 53, was last released from custody in San Diego County on October 4, 2012, according to Escondido Police Detective Juliette Barnes.
When officer Fuentes contacted Sorto in the Escondido library on November 20, 2012, the suspect was not in compliance with registration requirements as a previously convicted sex offender, the detective told a judge today.
Deputy District Attorney Laurie Hauf alleges that Omar Esaud Sorto has a prior conviction for exposing himself in 2007, in the city of Blythe, Riverside County, California.
Public defender Brian Dooley declared that it is “exculpatory” evidence that police found Sorto with his pants up and zipper down. “This is a zipper-is-down-case,” the attorney told a Superior Court judge this afternoon.
Honorable Judge Aaron Katz ordered Sorto to be held on a felony charge of public exposure of private parts, California penal code 314 (1). A first conviction for this offense is a misdemeanor, any repeat convictions are then felonies, according to published code. The judge also declared Sorto to be a sex offender who failed to register, in violation of probation, and ordered Sorto held without bail. The defendant’s next court date is set for January 14, 2013. Sorto pleads not guilty to all charges and allegations.
Image: Omar Esaud Sorto, 53, denies charge of public exposure. Photo Weatherston.