Former Morgan Hill Child Care Worker Pleads Not Guilty To Child Sex Abuse, Pornography Charges

By Mario Sevilla

Wed Sep 3rd, 2014 7:42pm America/Los_Angeles

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MORGAN HILL (BCN) — A man pleaded not guilty Tuesday to sexually abusing children, including one who was 3.5 years old, and possessing child pornography while a YMCA child care worker in Morgan Hill in 2013, a prosecutor said.

Nicolas Lhermine, 21, was arraigned in Santa Clara County Superior Court in Morgan Hill on six felony charges, the most being severe oral copulation or penetration of a child under 10, that may result in a sentence of 15 years to life in prison, according to Deputy District Attorney Stewart Scott.

The other charges against Lhermine are three counts of lewd acts with a child under 14 years old, possessing pornography of a child under 18 and posing or modeling a child under 18 in order to take an image related to sexual conduct, according the court clerk’s office in Morgan Hill.

A judge in the case scheduled a hearing to set a date for the start of Lhermine’s criminal trial for Sept. 25, Scott said.

Last month, prosecutors had four children testify during a preliminary hearing on charges against Lhermine and the judge ruled there was enough evidence to bring the defendant to trial, Scott said.

Lhermine entered his not guilty plea Tuesday and will be represented by a lawyer appointed by the county Public Defender’s Office, according to Scott.

On July 12, 2013, Morgan Hill police officers arrested Lhermine after a 6-year-old girl reported he tried to force her to have sex while he worked as a YMCA child care employee at Paradise Valley Elementary School in
the city, according to police.

He was arraigned that month on a charge of lewd and lascivious behavior with a child under 10 years old and possession of child pornography, according to the district attorney’s office.

But police found other victims, aged 13, 7 and 3.5 years old, of alleged sexual abuse and prosecutors filed additional felony charges against him in September 2013.

The district attorney’s office also added a charge related to child pornography after police reported finding explicit digital photos of several children at the care center on his cell phone, authorities said.

(Copyright 2014, Bay City News, All rights reserved.)

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