VISTA, Calif. - A man and his girlfriend, who are accused in the sexual assaults of two 7-year-old girls she was hired to babysit in Carlsbad, pleaded not guilty Friday to eight felony charges.
Samuel Cabrera Jr. and Brittney Mae Lyon, both 22, were arrested Wednesday.
After their arraignment Friday on charges of conspiracy, forcible child molest and kidnapping for child molest, the defendants were both ordered held on $2.6 million bail, said Deputy District Attorney Jodi Breton.
The alleged crimes came to light Tuesday evening, Carlsbad police Lt. Chris Boyd said.
On multiple occasions over the last several months, Lyon took the two girls she was babysitting to Cabrera's residence in the 6300 block of Greenhaven Drive, where the crimes allegedly occurred, Boyd said.
Authorities alleged that Lyon videotaped Cabrera molesting the children.
Prosecutors said Lyon used her degree in child development as a way to convince parents to let her take their children and study them as part of school projects on child behavior.
Lyon was employed at a YMCA facility in Oceanside. YMCA of San Diego County officials issued this statement regarding her arrest:
We strive to provide excellent service to the community through high quality safe and enjoyable programs and facilities. The safety of our children, staff and volunteers are of the utmost importance and our number one priority at any YMCA of San Diego County facility.
The YMCA of San Diego County received notification about the arrest of Brittney Lyon from the Carlsbad Police Department on July 7, 2016. We are actively working with the Carlsbad PD on this ongoing investigation and appreciate all they are doing with the disturbing allegations.
We can confirm that Brittney Lyon was employed with the Mottino Family YMCA in Oceanside for six days before the arrest was made. Ms. Lyons is on an unpaid leave of absence until further information or investigation is complete.
-- Background checks are performed for every YMCA staff member and volunteer, and we have confirmed that Ms. Lyon's check came back clear. Carlsbad PD confirmed that she had no prior record.
-- Ms. Lyon was also previously employed by the Palomar Family YMCA in Escondido from May 2014-August 2014.
At this time we have no reason to believe any child in the care of the YMCA has been harmed by this individual.
The YMCA has zero tolerance policy for any type of abuse against a child, and any abuse is cause for immediate dismissal. Every YMCA employee or volunteer is required to complete Child Abuse Prevention training and signs a Code of Conduct statement. At no time during a YMCA program may a staff person be alone with a single child. Additionally, YMCA policies prevent employees or volunteers from any interaction with children or babysitting outside of YMCA programs. YMCA staff is also not allowed to transport children in personal vehicles.
Both defendants face more than 90 years to life in prison if convicted, according to the prosecutor.
A readiness conference was set for July 19 and a preliminary hearing for July 21.