Child molester beaten to death 5 days after prison arrival, authorities say

WASCO, Calif. — A convicted child molester in California was beaten to death by a fellow inmate just five days after his arrival at the prison where he was to be processed into the larger prison system.

Agustin Duran, 66, was attacked Saturday in a day room of Wasco State Prison, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation officials said Wednesday in a news release. Wasco is a short-term prison where incoming inmates are processed, classified and evaluated, both physically and mentally, to determine the appropriate prison requirements to serve out their sentences.

Duran was booked into the facility July 2 from Los Angeles County, where he was sentenced to 55 years to life for lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14 years old, the news release said.

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Prison officials said correctional officers responded around 7:20 p.m. Saturday to the day room after an inmate, identified as Andres Donicio Ayon, 19, began beating Duran in the face and upper body with his fists.

"An alarm was sounded and all inmates got down on the ground with the exception of Ayon, who continued to strike Duran," the CDCR news release said. "Responding staff utilized a pepper spray grenade and Ayon complied and got down on the ground in a prone position.

“Staff placed Ayon in handcuffs and escorted him to a temporary holding cell.”

Duran was taken to a triage area for treatment and was airlifted to an outside hospital about an hour after the attack, the news release said. He died there the following afternoon.

Ayon was treated for minor injuries in the prison’s infirmary before being placed in the Administrative Segregation Unit. Duran’s slaying is being investigated as a homicide, officials said.

Ayon, who was booked into Wasco June 22 from Kern County, is serving a six-year sentence for second-degree robbery and use of a deadly weapon, the news release said. Kern County District Attorney's Office investigators are assisting in the probe of Duran's death.

The case that put Duran at Wasco was apparently not his first involving sexual molestation of a child. California's Megan's Law website, which tracks registered sex offenders, lists him as a registered offender since at least 2013.

Duran was previously convicted of sexual battery, lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14 years old and annoying or molesting a child with a prior conviction for a specified sexual offense, according to the website. Details of his previous cases were not included in the information.