Sex offender pleads not guilty to molesting girl in Wash. library

KENT, Wash. - A registered sex offender pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges that he grabbed an 11-year-old girl and groped her in a public library bathroom.

Travis M. Lear, 25, allegedly attacked the girl Jan. 30 at the Enumclaw Public Library. The King County Superior Court judge ordered him held on $1 million bail.

Lear faces a charge of first-degree child molestation in the case. Prosecutors also filed notice of a special allegation that provides for a longer, mandatory 25-year sentence if a jury finds that the sexual assault was a predatory offense.

Lear reportedly said "he just couldn't help himself" when he allegedly attacked the girl, who was waiting for her father in the car when Lear allegedly grabbed her and dragged her into the library.

Police said he took the girl into a bathroom and locked the door. Inside, he told the girl he could not control his urges, investigators said, and as he groped her, threatened to kill her if she screamed.

After the incident, the man ran out the door, but was captured on surveillance cameras. Police recognized the man on the video footage, and tracked him to his mother's house.

Lear pleaded guilty to child rape in 2008 for having sex with a 14-year-old victim.