Preliminary hearing delayed for man in Del Mar molestation case

A preliminary hearing will be held Aug. 11 for an admitted child molester accused of rin an incident involving a 5-year- old girl at Dog Beach in Del Mar.

William Wright Harris, 60, is charged with felony annoying or molesting a child.

Harris' preliminary hearing was supposed to occur Tuesday, but Judge Daniel Goldstein agreed to postpone it until next month.

The defendant allegedly committed the crime six days after pleading guilty to molesting a child a year ago, said Deputy District Attorney Katherine Flaherty.

Authorities allege Harris approached the girl in Del Mar the afternoon of Feb. 24. He was arrested six days later at his home in the 2500 block of Unincornio Street in Carlsbad, said San Diego County sheriff's Detective Chris Davis.

Investigators identified Harris from video footage the girl's father took using his iPhone.

The father ran after Harris after he was allegedly spotted rubbing his unexposed genitals in front of the girl, the detective said.

The father's video depicted Harris making admissions before fleeing in his vehicle, Davis said, adding that the license plate was visible in the footage and helped authorities identify Harris.

The girl told investigators of at least two other instances in which a man had exposed himself or made lewd gestures to her at the same location, Davis said.

At the conclusion of today's preliminary hearing, a judge will determine if prosecutors produced enough evidence for the case to proceed to trial.

Harris — who also has a 1992 conviction for child molestation — faces up to 14 years in prison if convicted, Flaherty said.

   
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