AZUSA >> Authorities charged an Azusa man with six felonies Friday for allegedly sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl earlier this week.
Prosecutors filed five charges related to child rape and molestation and one count of dissuading a witness from reporting a crime against Victor Carnio Martinez, 48, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said.
He entered no plea when appeared in Pomona Superior Court, she said. His arraignment was continued to Monday.
Police arrested him Wednesday after a 10-year-old girl told her mother she had been abused by Martinez two days earlier, Azusa police Sgt. Bruce Badoni said.
The family had trusted Martinez, whom police described as a family acquaintance, to take the girl on an outing to get some food when he attacked her, Badoni said.
“Suspect Martinez and the victim were in his vehicle on Monday evening when he drove to the rear of a local shopping center,” Badoni said in a written statement. “While in the vehicle, in a secluded area, Martinez sexually abused the child while she pleaded with him to stop. “During the incident Martinez threatened to harm the child and her family if she screamed, yelled for help or told anyone about what he was doing to her.”
Martinez returned the girl home nearly an hour later, “and once again threatened to harm the child and her family if she told anyone what had happened,” Badoni said.
The girl remained silent for two days, police said. She told her mother what had happened Wednesday, and the mother contacted police.
Officials took the traumatized girl to a hospital to be examined, Badoni said. Officers arrested Martinez Wednesday night.
Police lured Martinez to a shopping center where they arrested him about 9:40 p.m., according to police and booking records.
“During the initial contact, statements were made by Martinez that confirmed his involvement in this incident,” Badoni said. “In addition, he was identified by both the 10-year-old victim and her mother.”
Prosecutors charged Martinez Friday with seven felony counts related to child molestation, Badoni said.
He was being held in lieu of $1.2 million bail.
If convicted on all counts, Martinez faces up to 37 years to life in state prison, Ardalani said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Azusa police at 626-812-3200.
PHOTO of suspect Victor Carnio Martinez courtesy of the Azusa Police Department.
ALHAMBRA >> A former Monterey Park special education teacher convicted of molesting four students received a 16-year prison sentence Friday, authorities said.
Ex-Repetto Elementary School teacher Jose Jesus Mosqueda, 45, of Los Angeles, was sentenced by Alhambra Superior Court Judge Jared Moses, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said.
He pleaded guilty in July to three counts of committing lewd acts on a child and one count of continuous sexual abuse of a child, she said.
“The defendant sexually molested special education students in fourth grade between 2008 and 2011,” Ardalani said in a written statement.
Some of the molestations took place during class time, according to attorney’s representing the victims in pending civil lawsuits against the Alhambra Unified School District.
Mosqueda was first arrested in October of 2011 after a students reported her teacher had sexually assaulted her, according to Ardalani.
Mosqueda posted bail and was released from jail before a second girl came forward and made similar allegations, officials. Police re-arrested Mosqueda.
While still behind bars for the second time, a fourth special education student reported being molested by Mosqueda, Ardalani said.
After initially pleading not guilty to eight felony charges, Mosqueda accepted a plea agreement and pleaded guilty to four of the charges July 29, Ardalani said. Additional charges of child molestation and dissuading a witness were dropped under the “negotiated plea.”
Mosqueda was ordered to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, Ardalani said. He was scheduled to appear at a restitution hearing Dec. 4.
He passed a state-mandated background check when he was hired by the AUSD five years prior to his arrest, district officials said shortly after his arrest.
Mosqueda was placed on compulsory leave once the allegations first emerged.
His employment was expected to be terminated upon conviction, however AUSD officials could not be reached for comment Friday.
Two additional criminal cases alleging sexual misconduct by AUSD personnel are pending, along with civil claims filed against the district by the parents of Mosqueda’s victims.
Another AUSD teacher is awaiting trial on accusations of carrying on a seven-year-long sexual relationship with a former student.
Garfield Elementary School teacher Jeffrey Yoshitake, 43, is charged with five counts of committing lewd acts on a child for carrying on a sexual relationship with a teenage formers student.
Yoshitake was arrested in February, district attorney’s officials said. Prosecutors allege he began a sexual relationship in April of 2005 with a then-15-year-old former student, who was in high school at the time.
The tenured teacher, who first joined AUSD as a substitute teacher in 1996, has denied the charges.
Yoshitake has been released from custody on $100,000 bail and is scheduled to appear in Alhambra Superior Court Sept. 23 for a preliminary hearing setting, according to booking records.
Yoshitake was also placed on leave at the outset of the investigation.
Meanwhile, former Alhambra High School assistant principal Andrea Cardosa, 40, is awaiting trial in Riverside County on 16 counts of child molestation that allegedly took place while she worked with the Riverside Unified School District and the Val Verde Unified School District in years past.
Cardosa resigned from her position in January after on of her two alleged victims posted a YouTube video in which Cardosa appears to admit having a sexual relationship with the now-adult woman when she was a in middle school and high school between 1997 and 2001.
A second woman came forward days later to report she was also victimized by Cardosa when she was a high school student in 2009 or 2010, officials said.
Cardosa, who is being held in lieu of $5 million bail, is scheduled to appear in Riverside Superior Court Oct. 22 for a felony settlement conference, court records show.
PHOTO of Jose Mosqueda courtesy of the Monterey Park Police Department.
POMONA >> A judge sentenced a former Diamond Bar middle school teacher to more than 15 years in prison Thursday for carrying on a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old student, officials said.
Ex-Carl Lorbeer Middle School teacher Steven Shane Andrews, 43, of Anaheim, received the maximum sentence of 15 years and 18 months in state prison from Pomona Superior Court Judge Mike Camacho, according to Sarah Ardalani of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
A jury convicted Andrews in March of 17 felony counts related to the a sexual relationship he had with a student between May 2011 and his his Sept. 20, 2011, arrest, authorities said.
Camacho additionally ordered Andrews to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, Ardalani said.
Andrews first met his victim at school when she was 13 years old, investigators said.
“The defendant taught the victim for about a year before the sexual misconduct began,” Ardalani said in a written statement. “Initially, the incidents transpired at the school, but later also occurred off-campus.”
The crimes came to light when another teacher at the school became suspicious of Andrews’ interactions with the girl and notified the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, she added.
Andrews was placed on leave from the Pomona Unified School District a day before his arrest when school officials learned of the allegations, officials said. He was formerly fired in December of 2012.
The investigation was handled by the Sheriff’s Special Victims Bureau.
PASADENA — A 26-year-old Pasadena man was behind bars Sunday on suspicion of molesting a 14-year-old relative of his common-law wife, authorities said.
Police arrested Pedro Munoz Zamudio Saturday afternoon on suspicion of child molestation and sexual assault, according to Pasadena police officials and Los Angeles County booking records.
Officers responded to a report of a sexual assault early Saturday morning at a home in the 100 block of Painter Street, Pasadena police Lt. John Luna said.
Investigators determined Zamudio had sexually assaulted a 14-year-old relative of his common-law wife, police said.
The girl was taken to a hospital for examination.
According to booking records, Zamudio was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail at the Pasadena Police Department’s jail pending his initial court appearance.
POMONA — A Hacienda Heights man faces up to 60 years in state prison next month when he returns to court for sentencing after being convicted Wednesday of molesting four underage female relatives over an eight-year period, authorities said.
A Los Angeles County Superior Court jury in Pomona deliberated for about two hours before finding Juan Hernandez, 51, guilty of one count of continuous sexual abuse of a child and four counts of committing a lewd act on a child, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s officials said in a written statement.
He is scheduled to return to court for sentencing June 26, when he could received a maximum sentence of six decades behind bars, officials said.
“The prosecutor said Hernandez sexually molested four underage family members at various times between March 1999 and July 2007,” according to the district attorney’s office statement.
“Authorities were notified about the sexual abuse and the defendant was arrested Sept. 26, 2013 and held on $4 million bail,” the statement added.
The investigation was carried out by detectives from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Special Victims Bureau.
In addition to being held without bail pending sentencing, Hernandez was also had a hold placed on him by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, according to county booking records.
EL MONTE >> A Pomona Superior Court Judge sentenced an El Monte man to 50 years to life in prison Wednesday for sexually molesting his girlfriend’s young daughter in 2012, authorities said.
A jury convicted Miguel Angel Lomeli, 43, on April 4 of two counts of sexual intercourse or sodomy with a child 10 years old or younger, two counts of oral copulation or sexual penetration with a foreign object with a child 10 years old or younger, one count of forcible lewd act on a child and one count of an attempted lewd or lascivious act with a child under 14 years old, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s officials said in a written statement.
“The prosecutor said Lomeli dated the victim’s mother for a short time before moving into her home,” according to the district attorney’s office statement. “Evidence presented at trial revealed that Lomeli sexually assaulted the victim between June and November, 2012.”
El Monte police investigators arrested Lomeli Nov. 15, 2012, according to officials and Los Angeles County booking records. He remained in custody pending his trial, conviction and sentencing.
FULLERTON >> A La Mirada woman accused of molesting three boys she met through the Fullerton junior high school where she taught math pleaded not guilty Wednesday to 10 felony charges, authorities said.
At at arraignment hearing in Orange County Superior Court, Melissa Nicole Lindgren denied five charges of committing lewd acts on a child, two counts of committing lewd acts on a child under 14 and three counts of distributing pornography to a minor, Orange County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Roxi Fyad said. She is also accused of the special allegation of lewd acts on multiple children, which could increase her sentence if convicted.
Lindgren, who remained free on a $100,000 bond, was ordered to return to court June 13 for a pretrial hearing, Fyad said.
She is accused of molesting and trading explicit text messages with three boys, ages 13 to 15, that she met while teaching math at Nicolas Junior High School in Fullerton,
She was reportedly placed on leave from the Fullerton School Disstrict at the outset of the investigation.
The alleged crimes took place during the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 school years, district attorney’s officials said in a written statement. She’s accused of molesting two of the boys in a school classroom, and the third off-campus while the two met in a car.
Lindgren traded sexually explicit messages with the three boys, prosecutors allege. She was arrested Feb. 21.
If convicted as charged, Lindgren faces up to 16 years and 4 months in state prison.
MONROVIA — Police are seeking a young man with a skateboard believed to have groped two women in Monrovia earlier this week.
The attacks took place 9 p.m. Tuesday in the 700 block of South Fifth Avenue and 4:50 p.m. Wednesday in the 800 block of W. Chestnut Avenue, Monrovia police officials said Thursday in a written statement.
“Both victims described the suspect as a male Hispanic, 16-20 years old, 5 feet 6 inches to five fee 7 inches tall, (of) thin build, wearing a red hooded sweatshirt and dark pants,” according to the police statement. “The suspect was in possession of a skateboard in during both incidents.”
During Tuesday’s crime, a woman was walking when the attacker approached her from behind and “hugged her tightly by wrapping his arms around her body,” according to the police statement. “The suspect slapped the victim on the buttocks and then fled the scene on a skateboard.”
In Wednesday’s sexual battery, “A male suspect approached her from behind and reached around her body, grabbed both of her breasts with his hands,” the police statement said. “The suspect commented on the victim’s breast size and kicked her in the leg. He then left the scene with a skateboard in his hand.”
Neither woman reported injuries in connection with the incidents, police said.
Police were working with the two victims to create a composite sketch of the groper, Sgt. Don Newton said.
LOS ANGELES >> Investigators Thursday announced the arrest of a hospital worker accused of sexually assaulting a patient at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center and reached out to the public to seek any additional potential victims.
Detectives arrested Terance Bobga Tekoh, 25, about 10:20 p.m. Wednesday on suspicion of sexual penetration by a foreign object, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials and county booking records.
The alleged attack took place earlier in the day in an examination room while a patient was waiting to undergo a medical procedure, Lt. Steve Katz of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Special Victims Bureau said in a written statement.
Tekoh, a certified nursing attendant employed by Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center contractor Cross Country Per Diem, was assigned to the hospital’s Magnetic Resonance Imaging Department, officials said.
“The suspect has been terminated from hospital employment,” Katz said.
The 600-bed hospital is one of the largest public hospitals in the nation and a hub of the county healthcare system and treats patients from throughout the region.
As detectives and prosecutors prepared their case against Tekoh, they also sought to hear from anyone else who may have had a suspicious encounter with him.
“Detectives are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying any other potential victims who may have been harmed by suspect Tekoh’s conduct,” the lieutenant said.
Tekoh was released from custody Thursday morning on $100,000 bail, booking records show.
He was scheduled to be arraigned April 10 in Los Angeles Superior Court.
PHOTO courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
WHITTIER >> Officials cautioned the public Thursday about two strikingly similar incidents this week in which two teenage girls were approached by a man who exposed himself to them.
The indecent exposures took place minutes apart early Tuesday near Richard L. Graves Middle School in the unincorporated county area of South Whittier, as well Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe Springs, according to Whittier police and Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials.
The first encounter took place about 8:30 a.m. at Telegraph Road and Laurel Avenue, around the corner from Graves Middle School, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Jose Navares said.
A 14-year-old girl was walking when a man began following her, he said.
“He exposed himself and was masturbating as she was walking,” Navares said.
When the girl took notice of what was happening, the man fled.
Navares said the girl reported the incident to school police. Officials found a man matching the description, but he bolted from officials and was not found.
About 15 minutes later, police in Santa Fe Springs were notified of a similar encounter two miles away as a female Santa Fe High School student was walking at Florence Avenue and Pioneer Boulevard in Santa Fe Springs, less than a mile from the campus, Whittier police officials said in a written statement.
“A Santa Fe High student reported to the Whittier (Police Department) school resource officer that a male had exposed himself to her while walking to school,” according to the statement.
The suspect descriptions in the two incidents were consistent, however officials had not yet determined whether both were committed by the same man, Sgt. Jose Navares of the sheriff’s Norwalk Station said.
In both cases, the girls described the man as in his late-20s or 30s, about 5 feet 5 inches to 5 feet 6 inches tall, with black wavy hair, wearing a white zip-up jacket and blue jeans.
The suspect in the Santa Fe Springs case was described as Latino, while the man involved in the South Whittier case was described by investigators as having a dark complexion.
Detectives from the Whittier Police Department and the sheriff’s Norwalk Station were working together on the case and trying to develop a sketch of the suspect or suspects.
Parents were notified of the situation by the school district officials, authorities said.
Anyone with information was asked to contact the Whittier Police Department or the sheriff’s Norwalk Station.
SKETCH courtesy of the Whittier Police Department