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Alleged molester still in jail Neal Putnam | Sat, Jan 25 2014 12:00 PM

A National City man has been charged with 16 felony counts of molesting three girls and he faces a staggering sentence if he is convicted.

Anthony Garza, 33, has pleaded not guilty to all charges filed in Chula Vista Superior Court. A March 18 preliminary hearing has been set.

The charges allege Garza engaged in lewd acts with girls who were all under 14 years old at the time.

There are different years the offenses were alleged to have occurred. The first incident was in 2005 and the last offense was in 2013.

Deputy District Attorney Carolyn Matzger said Tuesday each count carries a sentence of 15 years to life in prison. His maximum sentence would be 240 years to life if he were convicted of all counts and sentenced consecutively, she said.

A judge set bail at $1 million. Matzger argued for that high bail figure on the basis of the charges and possible sentence. He was arrested Dec. 9 by National City Police and more counts were added later. Garza remains in the George Bailey Detention Facility.

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