Alleged Snohomish groper caught, pleads not guilty in hearing
SNOHOMISH - Police caught the former abortion clinic arsonist they believe groped a young girl Tuesday, Jan. 27 at the Snohomish Fred Meyer.
Curtis Beseda pleaded not guilty to felony charges of first-degree child molestation at an initial court hearing in Everett last week. His trial is scheduled for March 28.
Beseda, a Snohomish resident, was arrested in Pierce County on Monday, Feb. 10 when police found him sleeping in his minivan in a parking lot. He told police that he knew there was a warrant for his arrest, but claimed he did not know what the charges were, the Herald reported.
Multiple people identified Beseda as the alleged groper from video footage when the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office asked the public to help identify the suspect.
Beseda, 58, never came back to his apartment in the 300 block of Maple Avenue soon after the surveillance video was broadcast on local television news.
Beseda’s obsessive mannerisms helped the public identify him. He is known to walk in and out of building entryways before entering a building, and he avoids stepping on cracks, according to court paperwork.
Beseda is accused of approaching an 11-year-old while she waited for her dad to come out of the restroom. Beseda offered to buy a bottle of alcohol she was holding while her dad was in the restroom and he tried comforting the girl but also rubbed her thigh and buttocks, according to court paperwork.
As he walked away, the man was “adjusting or touching his genital area in a manner consistent with sexual arousal,” the paperwork states.
Beseda became a key figure for the anti-abortion movement after he firebombed an Everett abortion clinic in the early 1980s.
He regularly picketed the clinic until he reportedly kicked in a window, doused gasoline inside and burned enough of the clinic to shut it down for good, according to a 1985 Los Angeles Times profile.
Beseda was sentenced to a 20-year jail term, in which he was released after 12 years and then put back in prison for a parole violation for another seven years.
He was released from prison in 2003, but within two years he racked up an attempted arson charge and two trespassing-related charges in Snohomish County.
The trespassing charges involved trying to get into Immaculate Conception Church in Everett, the Herald reported. He also has a 2010 assault charge on his record from Puyallup.
Beseda has been unemployed since 2004 and relied on welfare assistance, a court report states.
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