SP man who tried to withdraw guilty plea
to child sex charges sentenced

June 20, 2014
Santa Paula News

A Santa Paula man was sentenced earlier this month after he tried to withdraw his guilty plea to child molestation and other charges.

According to Ventura County Superior Court Records Paul Anthony Bridges, 41, was sentenced June 5 to six years and seven months in a state prison, although he was given credit for 187 days hed already spent in jail.

Bridges initially was charged with two counts of a felony lewd act upon a child with special enhancements.

Unrelated to the other charges, Bridges, a gun dealer and longtime Army Reservist, also faced three charges of grand theft of a firearm.

According to court records, the alleged lewd acts occurred on or about July 1, 2011, and the incident involving the firearm - a gun found to be stolen - occurred on or about April 1, 2011.

Bridges, who had no prior arrests, was also banned from contacting four of his victims, was ordered to pay the victims restitution and register as a sex offender.

The parents of one of the unnamed victims were awarded the right to have Bridges tested for HIV/AIDS and the results of the testing to be released to the family.

Prosecutors claimed that Bridges met a 12-year-old victim at church. Bridges initially was charged with two counts of committing a lewd act on a child, oral copulation of a person under 14, dissuading a witness from reporting a crime and enhancements for substantial sexual contact, court records show.

Although Bridges had asked the court to change his guilty plea and had changed lawyers, a judge rejected the motion.

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