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Child-molest victim speaks out against suspect

October 12, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A 66-year-old man was in court Tuesday charged with molesting an 18-month-old girl. He was arrested last week, and charged with possession of child pornography. Images police discovered led to Tuesday's charges. In an Eyewitness News exclusive, his stepdaughter, who claims he preyed on her and other family members, spoke out. Pinkney Badgett, who goes by the name "Harold," has been accused of molesting an 18-month-old girl. His bail was raised to $1 million Tuesday.

Badgett, 66, was first arrested after police found boxes of child pornography in his Santa Ana apartment. They then identified the child in nude photos with him.

"That shouldn't have happened. He should have been arrested a long time ago," said "Tricia," an alleged victim of Badgett's.

"Tricia" is Badgett's stepdaughter. She doesn't want her face shown because she alleges Badgett took nude photos of her as a child. The alleged discovery was made when she tried to help a relative who accused Badgett of molesting him as a boy in Moreno Valley.

"I was very upset. I went to the house and took videotapes where my nephew said they were," said Tricia. "I was disgusted."

Tricia says on the tapes she turned over to authorities in 2006: "Children naked, him doing things to my nephew."

Riverside County Sheriff's deputies served a search warrant on Badgett's home at the time in Moreno Valley in 2006. At the same time, Badgett's son, then 7 years old, was placed in foster care. The boy's mother, it turns out, is Badgett's other stepdaughter.

"She has a hard time coping with life right now," said Tricia.

In documents obtained by Eyewitness News, County of Riverside Child Protective Services found that the son was sexually abused, or there was a substantial risk that Badgett's son would be sexually abused.

Officials wrote in 2006: "Badgett has a history of perpetuating sexual molestation upon minor children."

The documents say Badgett admitted he molested his two stepdaughters when they were children. Tricia's relative, now 29, also made the same allegations, according to the documents.

"He's devastated my entire family, traumatized them," said Tricia.

Even more frustrating: Tricia claims the Riverside County Sheriff's Department filed no charges. The department says the statute of limitations had expired for three of the alleged victims. A fourth potential victim of Badgett was interviewed but did not disclose any acts of molestation.

"This is a sick individual that's out there preying on little kids," said Tricia. "I believe they could have done something."

The Riverside County Sheriff's Dept. would not go on camera Tuesday. In a statement, the department said the 2006 search warrant served on Badgett did yield evidence of child pornography. They did not explain why they did not file charges.

If you have information related to any of these incidents, you're asked to call Santa Ana Police at (714) 245-8400.


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