Former Belmont chamber head acquitted of molestation

March 12, 2010 12:50:52 PM PST
The former president of the Belmont Chamber of Commerce, who was accused of molesting his girlfriend's young daughter a decade ago, was acquitted today of all charges, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office.

A jury found Michael Kazarian, 51, not guilty of 15 counts of child molestation, two counts of child molestation by threat or force, and one count of continuous sexual abuse of a child under 14.

Kazarian had been in custody since being arrested in May 2009 after his girlfriend's daughter told her mother of the alleged abuse, which she said occurred from November 1999 to February 2002, beginning when the girl was 8, Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

Both Kazarian and the alleged victim, now 18, testified during the trial.

The charges would have landed Kazarian in prison for more than 20 years if he had been convicted.