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3:34 PM Thu, Sept. 20th

Prescott man's trial on child molestation charges delayed; DeMocker hearing part of the reason

PRESCOTT - The trial of Michael Targhetta Anzalone, accused of child sexual assault, will be delayed because the attorneys will not be ready to begin next month as scheduled, a judge said Monday.

Anzalone, 21, of Prescott, was arrested Feb. 26 on felony charges including child molestation after an exam done on a 3-year-old girl he babysat the night before indicated she had been sexually assaulted, said Prescott Police Lt. Andy Reinhardt.

The girl's mother told an officer that Anzalone watched her two children at his home in Prescott from 8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 25, until 2 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 26, while she and her husband went out with friends, according to the police report.

Anzalone was indicted on one count of sexual conduct with a minor and one count of child abuse.

He was set for trial next month, but his attorney, David Shapiro, said they are still awaiting a "crucial" interview with an expert witness.

Deputy County Attorney Jeff Paupore said the Docugate hearing in Steven DeMocker's murder trial could conflict with a Dec. 11 trial date for Anzalone, but he still wasn't sure if the judge in that case would hold it in December or January. Paupore also said he wasn't confident that the prosecution could prepare for the expert witness in time, given the Thanksgiving holiday.

"It doesn't sound to me like you guys will be ready for trial on the 11th," said Superior Court Judge Celé Hancock.

Shapiro said he was "somewhat confident" the defense would be ready. "I would welcome moving this case (to a later date), but if it's going to be months, I'd ask that Mr. Anzalone be released (on bond)." He is currently being held without bond.

Hancock suggested a January trial, but Shapiro said he had another trial set for the same time.

Her next open date for a trial was April 2, 2013.

She also set a December date for a hearing on a motion to change Anzalone's release conditions.