SANTA MARIA – Saul Padilla was in Santa Maria court Wednesday afternoon for what was supposed to be his arraignment on kidnapping and child molestation charges.
The 47 year old Padilla, who's from Corona in Riverside County in Southern California, was arrested back in January.
He's accused of grabbing the teenage girl outside her Vandenberg Village home early in the morning on January 8, 2012 after the two made arrangements to meet over the Internet.
Padilla and the girl were allegedly involved in a two year online relationship with Padilla pretending to be a 15 year old boy.
A routine traffic stop by a County Sheriff's Deputy is credited with saving the girl from Padilla before he could drive away from Vandenberg Village.
Padilla is being held in Santa Barbara County jail on $1.2 million bail which prosecuting Deputy District Attorney Brooke Gerard was very pleased to hear from Judge Patricia Kelly.
"Under the Penal Code of the California State Constitution the number one consideration in the setting of bail is public safety", Gerard said outside court, "this is the kind of case that frightens parents everywhere."
Padilla did not enter a plea to the charges against him and his arraignment was continued to Wednesday, August 22 in Santa Maria.
The judge agreed to give Padilla's new defense attorney more time to review the case before proceeding with his arraignment.