Man who allegedly said 8-year-old wanted to be touched offers new excuse

A San Francisco man who's accused of molesting an 8-year-old girl testified in court Tuesday that he relentlessly lies when talking to police due to a traumatic experience as a child.

Omar Mejia Melendez, 45, was arrested in January 2009 on charges that he frequently fondled the girl while living in her family's Daly City home for about 18 months, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

When the girl turned 12, she finally revealed the abuse to a friend from school, leading to Melendez's arrest, Wagstaffe said.

Melendez allegedly confessed to police investigators that he molested the girl multiple times. But he also said the girl wanted to be touched and “would throw herself at him,” prosecutors said.

However, on the fifth day of jury trial Tuesday, Melendez reportedly recanted all the statements he's made to police – including a video-taped confession. But his reasoning baffled prosecutors.

Melendez said that as a child, his mother's military policeman boyfriend in Honduras threatened to throw him in the river if he didn't tell him about his mom's infidelity. That was a permanently scarring moment since he can't swim, Melendez said, and ever since he has feared police and lies when nervous.

“So he basically testified that everything he said was a lie,” prosecutors said.

Closing arguments in the trial are expected today. Melendez remains in custody on $6 million bail.

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