Baker Blames Gypsies for Blackmailing Him

October 6, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
We are learning new details today about the former Madera County supervisor accused of molesting a 13-year-old girl. 81-year-old Harry Baker says he is innocent and in fact blames a group of gypsies for blackmailing him. Action News also confirmed Las Vegas Police have investigated Baker for molesting a child there. He has not been charged in connection to the Nevada case.

We learned today that gypsies are known to travel in and out of Fresno and stay at area hotels. Harry Baker told investigators he was blackmailed by the victim's family and paid them thousand to keep quiet. Now Baker is facing trouble on two fronts.

A one page arrest warrant details the bizarre molestation case against Baker. He told federal investigators the victim's family blackmailed him and he paid them $250,000 dollars. In May 2007, Baker is accused of molesting a 13-year-old girl at a Fresno hotel. An adult with the victim secretly video taped the entire incident.

Attorney Charles Oren represents the victim. He was appointed by a judge, and he filed a civil lawsuit against Baker claiming child molestation and battery. That's in addition to criminal charges Baker is now facing. Oren says his client is scared for life. Oren said, "In a superficial level, you'll find a very young girl who listens to music and does a lot things that all kids do at that age. But how it really manifests itself is when they becomes older and get their sexual identity."

Baker served as a Madera County supervisor 12 years ending in 1998. His defense attorney claims Baker is a victim of extortion by a band of gypsies. ABC 30 Legal Analyst Tony Capozzi explains what happens if the victim's family really blackmailed Baker, "It doesn't take away from the crime of molestation. It's still a prosecutable crime. He may have an explanation for what happened, I believe it was in a motel room, as to why he was there and what occurred."

The victim is now 15-years-old and in foster care. Baker is out of custody. He is scheduled to be arraigned next week.

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