Multiple suspects accused of committing felonies in the Santa Clarita Valley returned to court this week, receiving future dates to appear before a judge once again.
A Canyon Country father accused of killing his 2-month-old daughter returned to court on Wednesday, and was ordered to return once again on April 28 for a pretrial conference.
Marcel Taylor, 26, was charged last year with one count each of murder and assault of a child causing death after his daughter, Jelani, was found unresponsive by paramedics at a home on the 18000 block of Grace Lane in Canyon Country on Sept. 26.
The baby was transported to the hospital, but ultimately died a few days later at L.A. Children’s Hospital. The cause of death was listed by investigators at the L.A. County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s Office as “blunt force trauma.”
During a pretrial conference, the involved parties establish timelines for concluding all pre-trial activities, such as setting a tentative trial date, encouraging the settlement of cases, counsel trying to agree on undisputed facts or points of law, and more.
A Newhall massage therapist accused of multiple counts of sexually assaulting his clients was told to appear before the court once again on March 17 for a prelim setting.
During a prelim setting, the judge and opposing counsels agree on a date for a preliminary hearing — when the bench decides if there’s enough evidence for the case to go to trial.
The defendant in the case, 57-year-old Jorge Panama, has been accused by at least a half-dozen women of assaulting them where he worked, at “Massage Plus Healing” on the 22000 block of Lyons Avenue, according to sheriff’s officials.
The incidents are suspected to have taken place over several years, according to Sgt. Brian Hudson of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Special Victims Unit, noting one of the alleged victims came forward after the news reports of the previous allegations.
Three years ago, a woman reported to the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station that Panama had assaulted her at his massage parlor.
After deputies carried out an on-scene investigation, they arrested the suspect, who was still at the location on Lyons Avenue, between Arcadia Street and Newhall Avenue. In the 2018 incident, charges were not filed by L.A. County District Attorney Jackie Lacey due to insufficient evidence, according to detectives.
Humberto Guzman Lemus, 40, of Canyon Country, has been accused of continuous sexual assault of a child, fleeing from deputies, and a number of other charges, according to sheriff’s officials.
The Canyon Country man is expected to return to court April 28 for a pretrial conference.
Lemus faces one felony count each of: continuous sexual abuse; sexual intercourse or sodomy with a child 10 years or younger; oral copulation or sexual penetration with (a) child 10 years old or younger; as well as one misdemeanor count of resisting peace officer, according to officials at the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
After responding to a domestic violence call on the 27000 block of Fahren Court in Canyon Country on Dec. 8, deputies found a young girl who told them that her stepfather had been continually sexually assaulting her, investigators said.
Lemus, according to law enforcement, attempted to then flee on foot but was eventually detained and booked at the SCV Sheriff’s Station.
Lemus is being held in lieu of $1.3 million bail.