RIVERSIDE – A Pomona Police Department detective will stand trial on charges he molested and tried to rape his adopted daughter.
At a preliminary hearing Thursday in Riverside Superior Court, Judge Judson W. Morris Jr. found there was sufficient evidence to try Donald Sevesind on three counts of lewd acts upon a teenager and one count of attempted rape.
Sevesind, 49, of Riverside, is a 25-year veteran of the Pomona Police Department, specializing in burglary investigations. He has been on administrative leave since his arrest.
Prosecutors say between summer 2005 and April 2006, the detective entered his then-15-year-old daughter’s room and molested her.
Under cross-examination from defense attorney Virginia Blumenthal, sheriff’s Detective Joel Morales said the girl, referred to as Jane Doe, asked her father to give her a back rub.
He said she fell asleep, only to wake up and find her shirt around her neck, her bra removed and her underwear down to her knees. He said she pretended to be asleep as her father caressed her breasts and genital area.
“She said she was scared and in disbelief,” Morales said.
About a month later, she told detectives she woke to find her clothing rearranged and her father fondling her for the second time. Again she said she pretended to be asleep, as she said she did when she woke to find her father fondling her a third time in October.
On April 25, 2006, Morales said, the girl told detectives she woke to find her blankets pulled down to the end of the bed and her clothing rearranged. But this time, she said her father was wearing only a T-shirt and was straddling her.
She said when he attempted to rape her she pulled away. Morales said she told detectives he tried to pull her back, then left the room.
Two days later, after reluctantly reporting the alleged incidents to a school counselor, she was taken to the sheriff’s Jurupa Valley station by Riverside County Child Protective Services and questioned.
Morales said detectives videotaped her interview, and taped two calls they had her make to her father asking him about the incidents. Morales said he told her they would talk about it later.
Sevesind was arrested early the next day.
Blumenthal argued that the evidence presented was insufficient to bring Sevesind to trial, but Morris was unconvinced.
“I have to respectfully disagree,” he said. “This is a pretty solid attempted rape.”
Sevesind showed no emotion during the hearing. He remains out of jail on $100,000 bail, and is scheduled to be arraigned July 11.
If convicted, he faces up to six years in state prison.
Staff writer Mark Petix can be reached by e-mail at mark.petix
Filed under: Civil Liberties, Prison Industrial Complex Tagged: | Donald Sevesind, Joel Morales, Judson W. Morris Jr., Pomona Police Department, rape, Riverside County Child Protective Services, Virginia Blumenthal, youth