A 62-year-old Novato man was arrested by Tuesday morning as a suspect in a molestation case involving his step-granddaughter, police said.
Bail was set at $1 million for Gary Albert Toti, who is retired and lives on Baruna Court in Bahia, according to Novato police. He was booked into Marin County Jail at 11:28 a.m. and faces five felony charges ranging from sexual intercourse with a child under 10 years old, penetration with a foreign object and lewd and lascivious conduct with a child under 14.
On March 17, a 7-year-old girl living in Fontana, near Riverside, told authorities that she had been molested on multiple occasions by Toti during visits to Novato between 2008 and 2010, Novato police Sgt. Keith Heiden wrote in a release. Fontana police investigated the case and then forwarded it to Novato PD on April 20.
After obtaining warrants for the arrest and search of Toti’s property, Novato police went out to Toti's Bahia home Tuesday. Lt. John McCarthy said there was one officer in uniform and about five others in plain clothes on the call. Toti was detained and arrested without incident and evidence was seized inside his house, McCarthy said.
“We had no information that this person would be violent or resist arrest, but have to plan accordingly,” he said.
McCarthy said felony sexual molestation cases are rare in Novato. "We don't have them in the volume of other cities (of similar size)," he said.
The investigation is ongoing, McCarthy added. Detectives are asking that anyone who might have been victimized by Toti or had knowledge of similar acts call Novato police at 898-7034.