AG resident pleads no contest to nine felony child molestation charges
– On Thursday, immediately prior to the beginning of trial by jury, John Vencent Gaines II, entered a plea of no contest to nine felony counts of child molestation for acts committed in the City of Arroyo Grande between May and August 1999 on a victim who was only eight years old at the time of the offenses.
Two of the nine counts were forcible lewd acts on a child under the age of 14. The remaining seven counts were alleged without the additional element of physical force. Although the case was initially reported to law enforcement in 2005, the investigation was not completed until late in 2013. Gaines has been in County Jail since Nov. 2013.
According to reports, Gaines committed the acts in May and August of 1999, but they were first reported to law enforcement in 2005. Gaines was a resident of Arroyo Grande at the time of the alleged crimes, but was living in Yermo, a town outside of Barstow, when he was arrested.
“It takes tremendous courage for a victim of child sexual abuse to report what happened to them. This plea to every count charged is an important step towards bringing closure and healing to the victim,” said District Attorney Dan Dow. Cases such as these are prosecuted by the District Attorney’s Sexual Assault and Child Abuse vertical prosecution unit, supervised by Assistant District Attorney Lee Cunningham.
Deputy District Attorney Linda Dunn prosecuted the case and the Arroyo Grande Police Department is the law enforcement agency that investigated the case.
The defendant faces a possible sentence of 34 years in state prison and will be sentenced on August 13, in Dept. 9.