REDLANDS – A Redlands man pleaded not guilty to kidnapping and child molestation charges on Thursday, three days after he was found in his apartment naked with a four-year-old girl who lived in the same complex.
Terence Giberson, 52, was charged with four molestation counts and a single kidnapping count, pleading not guilty to all five felonies. He’s due back in court on Aug. 19.
The girl’s parents started searching for her on Monday when she turned up missing at the Los Arboles Apartment Complex on Pine Ave. Reports that her mother discovered the girl’s drinking cup led to her father calling out her name. She was seen in a second story window, Giberson’s apartment, naked and crying for help.
The father, who broke down the door and rescued his daughter, took her home, called police and then waited outside Giberson’s apartment to keep him from leaving before police arrived, witnesses said.
After a half-hour standoff with police, Giberson was found with self-inflicted cuts, the result of a possible suicide attempt, said police spokesman Carl Baker, emphasizing that the girl’s father had not caused the wounds.
“The father exercised admirable restraint in getting his daughter out of harm’s way and allowing the police to deal with the suspect,” he said.
Baker said the victim was examined and found to have suffered no physical injuries. He said, “A rapid response (in calling police) is critical in missing child cases.”
Another witness account said that the girl was playing with Giberson’s dog just outside his apartment.
Deputy District Attorney Maryanne Choi said on Thursday that the case is unusual.
“Taking a little girl, luring a little girl, from her safe environment into his own home for the purposes of a sexual act, is very, very unusual,” said Choi, who specializes in child abuse prosecutions. “Most of our cases do involve kids who know their family members or acquaintances, so this is really unusual.”
Police said they do not believe Giberson has a police record. Further investigation into his background is continuing.
Besides the kidnapping and molestation charges, Giberson also faces counts of lewd acts upon a child younger than 10-years-old and kidnapping to commit another crime.
The neighborhood, said police, is normally quiet and crime free. It’s approximately one mile from police headquarters, two blocks from a Christian-based high school campus and less than a half-mile from downtown Redlands.
Giberson, in custody on $500,000 bail, is on suicide watch at West County Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga, according to deputies.