Molestation suspect faces extradition
By Matthias Gafni
Contra Costa Times
Article Last Updated: 09/17/2008 06:45:36 AM PDT

Laura Moreno's 10-year-old daughter brought her teddy bear "Angel" to Tuesday's court proceedings.

"It makes her feel safe and secure," Moreno said outside court, moments before her daughter made an appearance before a judge.

Moreno's 10- and 12-year-old daughters testified in Pittsburg's Contra Costa Superior Court that their sworn statements accusing Elidio Gonzalez Bautista of molesting them were true.

Authorities are holding Bautista, a Mexican citizen, in a Mexico City jail on eight counts of molestation involving Moreno's two girls and their 7-year-old cousin in Antioch and Pittsburg. Prosecutors filed charges in October 2006, but the 33-year-old illegal immigrant fled the United States.

Moreno left Judge Nancy Davis Stark's courtroom in tears after the quick proceeding Tuesday.

"When they have to say the things that happened to them, it's just so hard to listen to," she said. The two girls' younger cousin did not have to testify Tuesday.

The three girls' affidavits, along with other paperwork, will most likely be sent to the Office of International Affairs in Washington, D.C., today. From there, they will be forwarded to a Mexican judge, said Contra Costa deputy district attorney Andrea Tavenier.

Based on the evidence, the Mexican judge will rule whether to extradite Bautista back to Contra Costa County.

Bautista could face 45 years to life in prison if found guilty on all charges, Tavenier said.

" I think any case where a family member so badly abuses the trust of a close family member is a horrible case," she said.

Moreno and her family initially criticized the district attorney's office saying it failed to extradite Bautista when he was originally tracked down in another Mexican jail.

The molestation suspect was released from that jail and went missing for almost six months before Mexican authorities, with the help of the U.S. Marshal's Office, tracked him down in Puente de Camotlan.

Moreno said she hopes to see Bautista in a Contra Costa courtroom soon.

"I have prayed that we will get the justice that my children deserved," Moreno said.

"This was a very dangerous animal that negatively affected my children's lives forever."

Reach Matthias Gafni at 925-952-5053 or