An investigation into 26-year-old Raul Garcia started in December 2019 after school resource officers with the Thousand Oaks Police began searching for a man who had sent sexual videos and photos to a young girl, according to a news release by the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office.
image: Raul Garcia, 26, is seen in a photo released by the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office on Aug. 22, 2020.
Investigators were able to identify Raul Garcia as the man who sent explicit messages on social media, then his home was searched after obtaining a warrant, authorities said.
“Evidence located during a search of Garcia’s residence led to the discovery of three additional female juvenile victims,” the Sheriff’s Office stated.
After detectives talked with the victims they suspected that Garcia had sexually assaulted each of the three underage girls, all on different occasions.
“Garcia was using social media to prey on juvenile victims for the purpose of sending sexually explicit photos as a lure to befriend them and even meet with them to commit sexual assaults,” the Sheriff’s Office’s statement says.
The four female victims are all from Thousand Oaks and their ages range between 12 and 15 years old.
Police took Garcia into custody on Friday at his home, then he was booked on suspicions of sending harmful material to a minor, unlawful sexual intercourse, using a minor for sexual acts, possessing child pornography, assaulting a minor, and genital penetration with a foreign object.
Raul Garcia’s bail amount is set at $250,000, and he is due to appear at a Ventura County courthouse on August 25.
Detectives said there could be more victims who have not yet been identified.
Authorities are urging anyone with information to call the Thousand Oaks Police Department School Resource Officer Deputy Amber Voorhees at phone number 805-947-9298.
“Sexual predators commonly create social media accounts with fake profiles, using photos that make them appear to be school-aged youth, which makes it easier to communicate with minors,” the press release said.
Officials gave parents a reminder to encourage their children who are school-age to use privacy settings on their social media accounts, and do not accept “friend” or “follow” requests from strangers and to please not message with people they do not know.
Kyle James Lee – The AEGIS Alliance – This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.