Molest case's bail set at $2.5 million

February 26, 2003 12:00 am

By AMY LINDBLOM

An Angels Camp man suspected of molesting an 8-year-old girl was jailed yesterday, held on $2.5 million bail because Calaveras County Sheriff's detectives fear he might flee the country.

Martin Esteban Canez-Celaya, 43, a former employee of a Murphys business, turned himself in on a warrant charging him with three counts of child molestation and one count of entering a dwelling to commit a felony, the alleged molestations.

The warrant was issued after an investigation by Calaveras County Sheriff's detectives Tim Sturm and Jim Stenquist. The detectives allege that Canez-Celaya, of the 700 block of Dogtown Road, has been molesting a young girl since the beginning of the year, said Capt. Mike Walker.

The arrest warrant specified bail of $345,000, but because Canez-Celaya has ties to Mexico, the detectives convinced Superior Court Judge David DeVore, visiting from Alpine County, to increase bail to $2.5 million, Walker said.

Walker released few details about the alleged crimes or where Canez-Celaya worked at the time in order to protect the identity of the young girl, he said.

Canez-Celaya will be arraigned on the charges tomorrow, said a Calaveras County District Attorney's office spokeswoman.