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Cook pleads guilty to molesting girl in Riverside restaurant bathroom

By in Press Enterprise on June 13, 2017

By City News Service Avimael Lopez, 35. (Photo courtesy of Riverside Police Department)

A cook pleaded guilty Monday, June 12, to sexually assaulting a young girl in a bathroom stall at the Riverside restaurant where he worked.

Avimael Lopez, 35, admitted one count of forced oral copulation of a child under 10 years old. In exchange for his admission, the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office agreed to drop a related charge of lewd acts on a minor.

Superior Court Judge David Gunn scheduled a sentencing hearing for July 5. The sentence that’s stipulated under the plea deal is 15 years to life in state prison. Meanwhile, the defendant remains in custody at the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside, with bail set at $2 million.

Lopez was arrested last June after he was caught in the act of molesting the victim.

According to Riverside police, on the afternoon of June 6, 2016, the girl was with her mother at a restaurant in the 1700 block of University Avenue, just off of Chicago Avenue, and went into the women’s restroom alone.

When the girl failed to emerge after a few minutes, her mother went to check on her and encountered Lopez committing the assault in a stall, prompting the woman to call 911, police said.

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