A convicted sex offender accused of groping several women aboard a city bus in Menifee pleaded not guilty today to misdemeanor charges.
Michael Douglas Avery, 46, of Riverside was arrested Nov. 10 and charged last week with two counts of sexual battery, as well as one count each of being in possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Avery was arraigned before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Kenneth Fernandez, who tentatively scheduled a Dec. 8 trial date at the Riverside Hall of Justice.
The defendant is separately slated to appear for a parole revocation hearing tomorrow at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta.
He’s being held without bail at the adjacent Byrd Detention Center.
According to sheriff’s Sgt. Sam Morovich, the convicted felon was traveling aboard a Riverside Transit Authority bus on the afternoon of Nov. 10 when he sidled next to two women riders, allegedly fondling them.
The women complained to the bus driver, who pulled over at the intersection of McCall and Sun City boulevards, summoning deputies, Morovich said.
He said the women and Avery were interviewed, and the defendant was arrested without incident at the location. He was allegedly in possession of an undisclosed quantity of methamphetamine, which the deputies seized.
According to court records, Avery has prior convictions for sexual battery, robbery and assault with intent to commit rape.