Patience pays off in molestation caseBy Joshua Melvin
Pacifica police Capt. Fernando Realyvasquez got a letter in 2007 he had waited 14 years to receive.
It was from the Social Security Administration and said the agency had located a man named Dedy Idris, who was wanted for allegedly molesting several young girls in Pacifica.
Today, nearly three years after that envelope landed on Realyvasquez's desk, Idris, 65, is slated to be sentenced in San Mateo County Superior Court on 10 counts of child molestation.
It's the end of nearly two decades of work, wondering and waiting for Realyvasquez and the girls who suffered the abuse.
"There's a lot of satisfaction in seeing this come to an end," Realyvasquez said Wednesday at his desk, which still holds two hefty binders of reports from the case.
It's also the close of a case that stretched from San Mateo County to Indonesia and involved the FBI and an arrest in Guam.
The case started in 1993 when two parents came to Pacifica police to report that their 10-year-old daughter had been molested. That report led Realyvasquez, who was then a corporal, to bring the girl as well as her parents to the station for an interview.
During that emotional conversation, the girl told Realyvasquez that Idris had molested her on an ongoing basis. As the girl's parents looked on, Realyvasquez gave the girl a teddy bear and asked her to show him what had happened to her.
The girl had come into contact with Idris because he lived in the Pacifica home of longtime friends who had a young daughter. She often had sleepovers with her friends, including the girl. It was during the overnight stays that some of the abuse would happen.
As the girl told him what happened, Realyvasquez began to suspect there were other victims.
Not long after that, he interviewed three other girls who had been to the sleepovers, among them one who said she, too, had been molested. In the end, a total of five girls would accuse Idris of abusing them.
Idris didn't admit to anything when he was brought in for questioning.
He said something might have happened, but not molestation.
He said he treated the girls like his children.
Realyvasquez decided to let Idris go after they talked because he needed more time to build a solid case. An arrest would mean a 48-hour deadline to file charges or release him.
It was a few days later, when Realyvasquez went to do a follow-up interview, that he learned Idris was gone. The family he lived with said he had quit his job with San Francisco Muni and had gone to Indonesia. Realyvasquez pressed the family for information, but they didn't give him much.
He decided to take the case to the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office. The DA's office decided there was enough evidence to file 12 counts of child molestation against Idris. A $100,000 warrant was also issued for his arrest.
But after that, there was not much to do but wait. Realyvasquez would check regularly to see if Idris was back in the United States. The searches came back negative, and as the years went by, he began to think Idris might never be arrested.
"There was a point when I just wrote the case off," he said.
But then came the letter from the Social Security Administration. Idris had applied for benefits, and a routine check had turned up the 14-year-old arrest warrant. The letter about Idris even included an address in Indonesia.
Suddenly, the investigation kicked into high gear. Realyvasquez got ahold of the FBI and the DA's office. But the excitement of locating the fugitive was soon tempered by the disappointment of learning that Indonesia doesn't have an extradition treaty with the United States.
Even so, good news wasn't far off.
An FBI agent paid Idris a visit and told him about the warrant.
Idris knew he couldn't get his Social Security checks as long as the warrant was active.
So Idris finally agreed to go to Guam, a U.S. territory, where he was arrested and shipped back to the U.S.
There were more delays as the case crept toward trial, but finally the trial began this summer.
Ultimately, jurors convicted Idris of 10 counts, but could not make a unanimous decision on other counts. Those convictions carry sentences that could put him away for decades.
Though Realyvasquez is looking forward to filing away the binders that sit on his desk, the sentencing is much more of a relief for the victims' families.
One of the victim's fathers, who said he had wanted to attack Idris after his daughter told him about the abuse, said he wants the man to go to prison.
"It's probably better that he can suffer the way he made these kids suffer," the father said.
Copyright ©2010 Bay Area News Group. Published 10/21/2010.