A man accused of wounding two sheriff's deputies who went to his Lakeside apartment to investigate an accusation that he abused his girlfriend's daughters was formally charged Thursday with eight new counts stemming from the alleged child molestation.
Daniel Robert Witczak, 30, who was also wounded during a 15-minute gun battle with officers, was charged in late September with three counts of attempted murder of a peace officer and allegations that he used a high-powered rifle in the attack.
Prosecutors Thursday filed six charges of committing a lewd act on a child, and one count each of sexual intercourse and oral copulation with a child.
The charges allege that Witczak molested the girls, ages 6 and 8, two days before the Sept. 25 shootout with officers that left sheriff's Detective Ali Perez and Sgt. Craig Johnson wounded. Both were seriously injured, but are recovering from their wounds.
The child molestation charges add a potential 100 years to the 87 years to life in prison the defendant was already facing if convicted, said Deputy District Attorney Damon Mosler.
Witczak, who is being held without bail, has a preliminary hearing set for Feb. 13.
The defendant is accused of wounding Johnson and Perez, and shooting at—but missing—a California Highway Patrol officer who responded to the
apartment in the 12700 block of Mapleview Street.
According to the suspect’s girlfriend, the events that led to the gunfire began about 7:30 a.m., when she found cell-phone photos and videos of Witczak, an out-of-work auto mechanic, allegedly engaging in sex acts with her daughters.
She said she left their apartment to call the Sheriff's Department.
Later in the morning, during a call being monitored by investigators, the suspect allegedly admitted to the crimes, claiming he had received an offer of $50,000 to post the pornographic images online.
The woman said she was still on the phone with Witczak when the detective and sergeant arrived at the couple’s apartment and, a short time later, shots rang out.
She said Witczak then got back on the line and told her he had shot himself, and she heard someone say, “Officers down.”
—City News Service