Robert Ornelas, a former substitute teacher with the Santa Ana Unified School District, has been arrested and accused of sexual abuse of a minor after a months long investigation into claims he molested a family member for almost 20 years. The abuse started when the child was only five years old. Investigators found child pornography on a computer and photos of Ornelas with unidentified children.
The investigation was triggered by the suspect’s brother, who called the FBI after finding child pornography on Ornelas’s computer.
The Orange County Child Exploitation Task Force started an investigation in April, when they got that tip Tuesday, the task force served a warrant and arrested Ornelas. “We found multiple boxes containing hundreds of photos of young children and many of the photos were sexually explicit and he was in some of the photos molesting children,” said Lt. Mike Gavin, with the OC Sheriff’s Dept.
Investigators say the victim who was molested from the age of 5, came forward and they are working with two other victims. The Orange County Sheriff’s office fears there are even more children who were victimized because Ornelas was around kids all the time. Ornelas and his mother may have worked at a daycare and Robert Ornelas was a softball coach, he was also a substitute teacher from 1992 -2003 with the Santa Ana Unified School District.
A spokesperson with SAUSD tells us the school district is concerned students could have been victims and they’re working with investigators.
“We think its happened on a regular basis for the last 20 plus years,” said Lt. Gavin, in regards to the molestation Ornelas is accused of. 14 June 2013, My Fox LA
Ornelas is currently in jail awaiting arraignment. Bail was set at $100,000.
Investigators believe the abuse occurred for 20 or more years, and are asking anyone with information on potential victims or abuse to call the Orange County Sheriff’s Department at (714) 647-7000.