San Mateo County correctional officer accused of molesting girl

Bay Area

SAN MATEO COUNTY (KRON) — A San Mateo correctional officer is in custody tonight, charged with molesting a girl he once babysat.

He appeared in court Friday and is expected back in court Tuesday for a bail reduction hearing and to enter a plea.

The defendant and victim are neighbors, living just a few doors down from one another.

But a few months ago, the victim told her counselor that between 2012 and 2015 Joel Olazabalgudino sexually molested her.

He’s being held in jail on $450,000 bond and that’s exactly what his attorney is hoping to change tomorrow.

The man’s attorney, Paula Canny, plans to enter a not guilty plea Tuesday for 25-year-old Olazabalgudino.

“He was administered a polygraph by a law enforcement polygrapher and my client was found to be truthful,” she said.

The San Mateo County corrections officer is accused of molesting a girl he used to babysit.

Canny believes her client shouldn’t even be in custody.

“A person who stands cloaked in a presumption of innocence that’s sitting behind jail, when he’s passed a polygraph, something’s wrong there,” she said.

“Things like passing a polygraph mean nothing in terms of our criminal justice system. They’re not deemed reliable,” said San Mateo County’s District Attorney.

DA Steve Wagstaffe is standing by the prosecutor’s decision to arrest and charge the defendant — saying they have enough evidence to back up the five felony charges against him.

Though most of the alleged incidents happened prior to him becoming a corrections officer, the San Mateo Sheriff’s Office has placed Olazabalgudino on administrative leave.

“People ask do we give breaks to law enforcement? No we’re even tougher because the community has given us power and that power is violated it’s worthy of serious consequences,” the DA said.

A hearing to reduce his bond and to enter a not guilty plea is scheduled for Tuesday at 1 p.m.

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