Convicted sex offender claims investigators telling `lies, lies, lies’

RIVERSIDE  – A convicted sex offender pressed a 12-year-old girl to get into his car, flashing a wad of cash at her and cruising next to her on a Temecula street until a law enforcement officer stopped the harassment, a prosecutor said Wednesday, March 22, but the 70-year-old defendant countered that he was the victim of “numerous false statements” by authorities and had perfectly innocent intentions in speaking with the child.
“This young girl told the defendant `no’ over and over again when he asked to give her a ride,” Riverside County Deputy District Attorney Ed Jensen told jurors in his opening statement regarding the alleged actions of Robert
Francis Baker. “Yet, Mr. Baker continued to roll alongside her, refusing to take no for an answer.”
Jensen alleged that on the afternoon of last Aug. 12, Baker spotted the girl on Pauba Road, approaching Linfield Way, and pulled next to her, initially asking if she could give him directions to a dental office. After the victim,
identified in court documents only as “J.M.,” told the ex-con that she couldn’t help him, he began tailing her, according to the prosecutor. “This young girl knew not to talk to strangers,” Jensen said. “She’s very outspoken, and she was not afraid to tell Mr. Baker that she didn’t want a ride.”
Jensen alleged that Baker pulled out a large roll of cash and flashed it at J.M., but she ignored him. A District Attorney’s Office investigator, Ron McGowan, was in the area on business and witnessed the alleged interaction
between the girl and Baker, the prosecutor said.
Jensen said the investigator asked J.M. whether she knew Baker, and when she said no, “Ron intervened and detained the defendant.”
Sheriff’s deputies were summoned and initiated an investigation, during which they found multiple vibrators, condoms and lubricants in Baker’s rented vehicle, according to Jensen. He also alleged that a search of the defendant’s
Hemet home resulted in the seizure of several laptop computers loaded with child pornography.
The prosecutor briefly recounted Baker’s past criminal history, noting that he had repeatedly sexually assaulted a girl who had been left under his supervision in the early 1990s. The victim, then between 10 and 12 years old, was “horribly molested,” Jensen said.
Baker was convicted in 1993 of multiple counts of lewd acts on a minor, for which he served time in state prison. In the present case, the former tour boat captain is charged with attempted kidnapping to commit rape, attempted
lewd acts on a child, annoyance of a child by a registered sex offender and two counts of being in possession of child porn.
Baker, who is acting as his own attorney, delivered a half-hour opening statement that led to several warnings from Superior Court Judge Michael Donner, who cautioned the convicted felon to stay on point.
When Baker delved into the circumstances of his convictions, Donner reminded him that “we’re not re-litigating your prior case.” The hearing-impaired defendant exclaimed more than once that he couldn’t make out everything being said in court and talked over the judge during a ruling, prompting Donner to demand silence. Baker apologized.
“I don’t think you’re doing this on purpose. But it’s one of the challenges of representing yourself,” Donner replied.
Baker told jurors that on the day of the encounter with J.M., he was under stress about a dental appointment, having visited five other dentists before arranging to see the one in Temecula. According to the defendant, he had
taken prescription painkillers and was disoriented.
“I ended up going to a dead end on this road, so I turn around, and there’s this girl walking toward me,” the defendant recalled. “I said, `Hi, I’m Bobby, and I’m looking for this dentist’s office.’ The girl tells me where
it is. It was hot outside, and she was walking uphill, so I asked her if she wanted a ride.”
Baker acknowledged asking the girl more than once, even after she’d declined the first time. He said that he was preparing to pull away when McGowan approached, flashed his badge and “took my keys.”
The defendant broke down in tears several times while addressing the jury, insisting that he was being smeared by investigators telling “lies, lies, lies, so many lies.”
“They’ve made numerous false statements,” he said. He insisted the vibrators were broken, and all but one of them belonged to his homebound mother. His vibrator was intended “to massage my legs,”
Baker said.
He blamed a computer repair technician for leaving porn on his laptops, saying he hadn’t looked at them in months and didn’t know what they contained.
He said the $8,800 wad of cash in his possession was to pay the dentist, pay for his rental car and pay the mechanic who worked on his damaged Hyundai.
“When all the time frames fit at the end of this trial, you have to acquit,” Baker said.
He’s being held in lieu of $1.5 million bail at the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta.

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