Bail was set at $250,000 for a 33-year-old man accused of raping a 9-year-old girl in Thurston County.
Blas Briones-Romero appeared Monday in Thurston County Superior Court, and his preliminary hearing was conducted with help from a Spanish-language interpreter. Charges of first-degree rape of a child will be formally filed this week, and his arraignment is set for April 14.
Earlier this month, an elementary school counselor in Lacey reported that the mother of a student came forward with information that Briones-Romero – the mother’s boyfriend - had been sexually assaulting the girl for the past year, according to court documents.
Detectives contacted the mother and eventually conducted a forensic interview with the girl, who disclosed that the suspect had molested her multiple times, documents show.
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Briones-Romero was arrested March 27 by police in Mountlake Terrace. At Monday’s court hearing, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Joseph Wheeler said it was unclear whether Briones-Romero was residing legally in the United States.
In setting the bail, Judge James Dixon noted the severity of the charges against Briones-Romero, but reminded the court that “every person is innocent unless proven guilty.”