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Man convicted of 2018 arson, sexual battery of pregnant tenant

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Posted at 12:50 PM, Oct 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-08 15:50:51-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The Kern County District Attorney's Office announced Thursday the conviction of 57-year-old Daniel Moler for the 2018 arson and sexual battery of a pregnant woman renting out of his home in East Bakersfield.

According to the DA's Office, Moler was found guilty of arson of an inhabited structure with the use of an accelerant, sexual battery, and criminal threats. He will be sentenced on Nov. 4.

On March 13, 2018, Moler repeatedly went into a room of his East Bakersfield home that he rented to a pregnant tenant, age 24, and sexually harassed her over a period of three hours, the DA's Office said. When Moler’s wife found out what Moler had done, she kicked him out of the house. Moler then poured charcoal lighter fluid in his bedroom, lit the fire, and fled the house, according to the DA's Office.

The DA's Office said the tenant was inside her room unaware the house was on fire until Moler’s wife, who had been next door, returned home and alerted the tenant. Both Moler’s wife and the tenant were able to escape the burning house without injury.

When Moler was arrested two days later, investigators observed the hairs on the backs of his hands had burned off. Investigators further determined that Moler’s claims that the fire was accidental and that he encouraged his wife to call 911 to report the fire were not true.

Moler was previously convicted of criminal charges, including attempted murder, arson, and escape from custody causing great bodily injury,. Due to this, he faces a potential sentence in excess of 25 years to life in prison.