Police patrol vehicle

A man appeared in Walla Walla County Superior Court last week after being arrested for alleged sex crimes against a girl he knew.

Salud Lara-Diaz, 55, was arrested earlier this month when Walla Walla police detectives and Child Protective Services received information about the alleged abuse, records stated. Reports said he inappropriately touched the girl on several occasions and that he threatened to kill her and her family's dog if she told anyone.

Police found a Hi-Point .380 handgun in the home where Lara-Diaz was staying. Since he had a restraining order against him, he was prohibited from having guns, records stated.

He was charged Friday with first-degree child molestation, second-degree unlawful firearm possession, felony harassment-threats to kill and other crimes. His bond was set at $50,000.

Emily Thornton can be reached at emilythornton@wwub.com or 509-526-8325.

Emily Thornton covers courts and emergency services, as well as other various stories. She has been in the newspaper industry off and on since roughly 1999 and lived primarily on the West Coast, but also Florida and Europe.