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August 8, 2020

Watsonville City employee arrested for sex crimes

Offenses occurred before employment

WATSONVILLE—Watsonville police have arrested a 17-year-old City of Watsonville employee on sexual battery and false imprisonment charges involving at least two teen girls that allegedly occurred in 2017, prior to his employment with the city, spokeswoman Michelle Pulido said. 

The suspect, who is not being named because he is a juvenile, was hired by the city in late 2019 and served as a recreation leader for the Watsonville Police Activities League. He was also a member of the Watsonville Police Cadet Program since 2018, Pulido said.

Detectives began investigating the suspect after accusations surfaced on Twitter in early June, Pulido said. Detectives identified the victims by June 19 after receiving a cross report from the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office. A second victim was identified through the course of the investigation, Pulido said.

Investigators believe there could be additional victims. Anyone with information is asked to contact Det. Rudy Lopez at 768-3357.


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