Chamber head to stand trial for sexual assault

REDWOOD CITY, CA

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Michael Kazarian, 50, pleaded not guilty Friday to nearly 20 counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14, as well as charges of continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office.

He is suspected of molesting his girlfriend's daughter, who was 8 years old at the time the alleged abuse began, from November 1999 to February 2002, Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

Wagstaffe said the girl kept the alleged abuse a secret for years because Kazarian allegedly threatened her, but that this year she decided to tell her mother. Her mother notified police and Kazarian was taken into custody on a $500,000 arrest warrant, Wagstaffe said.

Kazarian has been in custody since his arrest May 18 in lieu of $1.5 million bail.

His jury trial is scheduled for Oct. 13.

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