Santa Paula Times

SPPD: Santa Paula gun dealer pleads not guilty to child sex crimes

October 19, 2011
Santa Paula Police Department

A 38-year-old Santa Paula man, a  Ventura gun dealer, was arrested on suspicion of several sex crimes involving a child has pleaded not guilty, according to Ventura County Superior court records.

Paul Anthony Bridges was booked into Ventura County Jail October 7 after he was arrested by Santa Paula Police following a high-risk stop on the 900 block of East Ventura Street.

SPPD detectives had been investigating a sexual assault of a minor report and obtained an arrest warrant for Bridges. Police believed that Bridges - who is affiliated with Uncle Paul’s Gun Exchange,  a Ventura-based dealer - might have been armed, which led to the high-risk stop. Bridges was taken into custody without incident on the alleged crimes, which were reported to have occurred June 1.

Bridges was charged with two counts of committing a lewd act on a child, oral copulation of a person under 14, dissuading a witness from reporting a crime, and enhancements for substantial sexual contact, according to the court. He pleaded not guilty to all of the charges and denied the enhancements.

Bail for Bridges was set at $1million - a DA’s spokesperson said the amount was so high based on Bridges’ gun business and the allegation of dissuading a witness - and as of Friday he remained in Ventura County Jail. Bridges is expected to return to court in November. 

Anyone with information on this alleged incident is asked to contact the Santa Paula Police Department, 525-4474. If the caller would prefer to remain anonymous, they can call the SPPD recorded Tip Hotline, 933-4253-1-#.

Those with information can also call Ventura County Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS (8477). Ventura County Crime Stoppers can also be contacted by texting “Busted” plus your message to CRIMES (274637). Crime Stopper Tips can also be sent via the website,