MARTINEZ -- A Danville real estate agent accused of sexually abusing a young girl pleaded not guilty Tuesday to four felonies.
Ronald Schwartz, a 65-year-old Brentwood resident, was charged in late September with two counts of lewd or lascivious acts on a minor under age 14, and two counts of oral copulation on a child under age 10.
Judge Nancy Davis Stark reduced Schwartz's bail from $2 million to $500,000 at Tuesday's plea hearing. He remained in County Jail on Wednesday morning.
Defense attorney William Linehan said bail was reduced because Schwartz has no criminal record, turned himself in voluntarily and is fully cooperating with investigators. Linehan said Schwartz is not a flight risk and poses no danger to the community.
The Contra Costa District Attorney's Office argued that Schwartz is a danger to himself and others. Brentwood police began investigating Schwartz in July because he called a suicide hotline and confessed to what he did to the victim a month before, a prosecutor said.
The case marks the second time a young girl has told police that she was sexually abused by Schwartz. The first girl made the report in the 1990s, but it did not result in charges. The District Attorney's Office is not considering charging Schwartz as to that girl's allegations because of the statute of limitations.
Linehan said he is awaiting reports from prosecutors and isn't commenting on the charges. Schwartz returns to court in November to schedule a preliminary hearing.
Contact Malaika Fraley at 925-234-1684. Follow her at Twitter.com/malaikafraley.