Prosecutors frustrated that a judge dismissed felony molestation charges against an after-school aide refiled the same counts stemming from the Millbrae man’s alleged kiss of a 6-year-old female student on the San Mateo campus.
Eric Michael Renz, 21, was originally charged with two molestation counts and possession of child pornography which was allegedly discovered after his arrest. Judge Marta Diaz two weeks ago found insufficient evidence to hold Renz to answer on the two sex crime charges but sent him toward trial for the pornography.
On Thursday, prosecutors filed anew the molestation counts which District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said is legally allowable on cases that are not dismissed entirely when the evidence supports it.
“I think the evidence clearly shows that this was not simply a friendly act. When you put together the facts of the case, that he’s in possession of child porn and he’s kissing a child, one can’t call it simply affection,” Wagstaffe said.
Renz was an after-school child care aide at Horrall Elementary School in San Mateo. On Oct. 18, prosecutors said a school custodian looking out a classroom window at the Children’s Annex in San Mateo saw Renz sitting on a bench with his arm around the girl’s shoulder with his hand on her hip. Renz kissed the student twice, according to the custodian who reported the alleged incident to school administrators. He was immediately removed and police contacted.
A police search of Renz’s laptop computer reportedly turned up downloaded child pornography.
Defense attorney Chuck Smith could not be reached for comment on the refiling but has previously told the Daily Journal his client did touch and kiss the child, who was very affectionate with him, but not in a sexual way.
On Thursday, after the charges were added back, Renz pleaded not guilty and was scheduled for jury trial Aug. 18.
He remains free from custody on $100,000 bail.
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