A California school board member was in court Friday for two separate cases – he’s accused of not only attempted murder, but pandering, pimping and two counts of rape.
But the accused, Mike Rios, told KTLA-TV he is being set up.
“There’s a certain developer in our city who basically has most of the council bought and paid for in our city,” Rios said in an interview published Friday. “Those who are in power will tell the sheriffs what to do.”
Rios, a member of the Moreno Valley school board, has pleaded not guilty in both cases, according to the Riverside Press-Enterprise. In the preliminary hearing for the attempted murder charge, one of the two men accusing Rios, Paul Rios, testified he followed him home seeking revenge after a run-in at a local bar in February.
“I had one thing on my mind – to beat his ass,” Gallo said. Rios is accused of shooting at Gallo and his brother-in-law, Chad Poindexter, after the two men confronted him outside his home. A local sheriff’s deputy who responded to Rios’ 911 call testified that Rios had told him he feared for his life, and that Poindexter and Gallo had shot at him. The hearing will resume on Tuesday.
Today’s other hearing will involve rape, pimping and pandering charges dating back to an April investigation. The Valley News reports that Rios is accused of pursuading four women and two girls to work as prostitutes from his home.
“Another woman answered an Internet advertisement for a job, (and) Rios offered one of the juvenile girls the use of his Hummer if she would work for him,” a District Attorney spokesperson said at the time. “He met the other juvenile through an Internet ad she had placed for prostitution and … offered her the use of his vehicle and his house if she would work for him.”
Rios refused to resign his position after the arrests, and and established a website in his own defense, saying he was being subjected to “political assassination” for his religious beliefs.
“My only true crime I’ve committed is severing [sic] my “Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and The People of Moreno Valley” If you even want to call that a crime,” he wrote in April. “But “Satin [sic] and his followers that are many see that as the biggest crime one can commit.”
Rios returned to the school board for a May 8 meeting, but left before it concluded, which had some visitors cheering. That same month, WABC-TV reported that Rios allegedly asked if the board would pay him to resign. The request was denied.
Rios also attempted to run for the local city council, but did not meet the Thursday deadline to submit the necessary paperwork. He told the Press-Enterprise Friday that deputies had told residents in his apartment complex that “an unidentified child molester” had moved into the area.
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