watsonville police
Watsonville Police arrested two men in unrelated sexual abuse cases Friday. — courtesy of Watsonville Police Department

WATSONVILLE—Two men were arrested in Watsonville in an eight-hour block Friday on suspicion of sexually abusing minors. The two cases are unrelated.

Watsonville Police Department spokeswoman Michelle Pulido said Fermin Vega, 70, was taken into custody by WPD detectives after three victims “courageously came forward” to report continual sexual abuse by Vega. The victims were between the ages of 7 and 9 when the abuse occurred, Pulido said.

Vega was arrested for continual sexual abuse of a child, lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14 and lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14 using force. His bail has been set at $250,000, Pulido said.

Just hours later WPD detectives arrested 28-year-old Javier Solis who is suspected of committing sexual acts against a minor.

He was arrested in the area of Harvest and Riverside drives. 

Solis was booked into Santa Cruz County Jail on numerous sex-related charges, Pulido said. His bail has been set at $50,000.

All victims in both cases have been referred to counseling.

Anyone with information regarding the Solis case (case number 20W-01904) is asked to call Det. Pablo Andrade at 768-3354. If you have information regarding Vega (case number 20W-02755), call Det. Nelson Hernandez at 768-3358.

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Tarmo Hannula has been the lead photographer with The Pajaronian newspaper in Watsonville since 1997. More recently Good Times & Press Banner. He also reports on a wide range of topics, including police, fire, environment, schools, the arts and events. A fifth generation Californian, Tarmo was born in the Mother Lode of the Sierra (Columbia) and has lived in Santa Cruz County since the late 1970s. He earned a BA from UC Santa Cruz and has traveled to 33 countries.


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