An Olivehurst man pleaded no contest to committing a lewd act with a young relative as part of a deal with the Yuba County District Attorney’s office, in which he is seeking to be placed on probation.
Lem Pep, 38, was arrested by the Yuba County Sheriff’s Office on Jan. 22 on three counts of committing lewd acts with children under the age of 14. One of the victims was a relative of Pep who said he touched her vagina under her underwear at least two times while she lived in Yuba County with Pep between August 2018 and June 2019, according to court documents.
In addition, a 15-year-old relative of the first victim told authorities that Pep orally copulated her in her sleep causing her to wake up. The incident allegedly took place in Yuba City in April 2014, when the victim was in fifth grade.
Pep appeared in Yuba County Superior Court on Wednesday and entered a plea of no contest to one of the counts in exchange for a sentence that could mean he would be placed on probation.
Because he is seeking to be placed on probation, Pep must have a psychological evaluation done, which will contribute to the courts ultimate decision. As a client of the public defender’s office he must appeal to the court to obtain the necessary funds to have the evaluation done, according to Yuba County Deputy District Attorney Ashley Tuft.
Tuft said if the court refuses to provide funds for the evaluation, Pep has the option, as part of his deal, to withdraw his plea and continue negotiations or be sentenced to three years in prison. Pep’s sentencing will be scheduled on March 23 at 1:30 p.m. The hearing is set out in advance to give Pep time to obtain funds and have the evaluation scheduled and completed.
Pep continues to be held in Yuba County Jail on $200,000 bail.