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Moreno Valley School board member takes stand in pimping, rape trial

February 6, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
A Moreno Valley school board member accused of rape and running a prostitution business from his home took the witness stand Wednesday to deny the charges.

Mike Rios broke down in tears after admitting he lied to investigators to protect his wife from knowing about a car accident involving him and two women. He said he feared media reports about the accident would reveal he was cheating on her.

Rios explained he started a side stripping business to make up for the income lost after his wife, who was a stripper, was by jailed by INS. He went on to say he advertised for a live-in stripper on Craiglist to help pay the mortgage and bills.

"You wanted a stripper to live in your house with a 17 year old and 12 year old living there?" the prosecution asked him.

"Yeah, what's wrong with that?" Rios responded.

Investigators believe Rios was actually running a prostitution business from his home. He allegedly recruited women and customers through online ads.

Rios denied the allegations, saying his business was strictly stripping and massage. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

He claims he did have consensual sex with one of two of the women he is accused of raping.

The 42-year-old, who is free on $500,000 bail and remains a school board member, faces more than 50 years behind bars if convicted of 35 felony counts, including forcible rape, pimping, pandering and insurance fraud.


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