Crime

Nipomo man accused of child molestation appears in court

Paul Jacob Speer, 39, of Nipomo was arrested Friday, Aug. 1, 2014, on suspicion of 20 felony counts of a lewd act upon a child under age 14. Original story »
Paul Jacob Speer, 39, of Nipomo was arrested Friday, Aug. 1, 2014, on suspicion of 20 felony counts of a lewd act upon a child under age 14. Original story »

A Nipomo man charged with 47 felony counts of various sex acts against a minor declined to enter a plea during a court hearing Tuesday, after his attorney said he needed more time to review the case.

Paul Jacob Speer, 39, was featured on the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office’s Facebook page on July 23 and turned himself in Sunday.

The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office filed formal charges against Speer on July 14, alleging 20 counts of lewd acts with a child under 14 years old — each carrying a sex crime enhancement — as well as 27 counts of oral copulation.

Superior Court Judge Ginger Garrett issued a warrant for Speer’s arrest the following day.

Prosecutors allege Speer committed the crimes against a single boy — identified in the court file as “David Doe” — between June 2006 and May 2011 when the boy was 11 to 15 years old. He is now 19.

At Speer’s arraignment Tuesday in San Luis Obispo Superior Court, his attorney Guy Galambos told Superior Court Judge Roger Picquet that he was not prepared to enter a plea. Picquet postponed the hearing until Aug. 12.

Thirteen of the 47 felony counts occurred in San Luis Obispo County, while the remainder allegedly occurred in Santa Barbara County. According to court records, Speer is originally from Santa Maria.

Criminal complaints represent one side of the story; Speer has yet to make any admission of wrongdoing or statements in his defense. Galambos did not return a request for comment Tuesday.

During Tuesday’s hearing, Galambos attempted to have Speer’s bail reduced, arguing that Speer’s $1 million bail was set by Garrett during the time of the warrant before any input could be given by Speer’s defense. Picquet declined to reduce bail but referred the matter to the county Probation Department for review.

Although the majority of alleged crimes occurred in Santa Barbara County, the District Attorney’s Office there waived jurisdiction, allowing the SLO County District Attorney’s Office to take the case.

Speer remains in County Jail in lieu of $1 million bail.

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