Guilty Pimp, Molester and Caregiver; Charges in Daycare, Up-Skirt Photo and Rape Crimes

It's a packed house this week.
It's a packed house this week.
Jay Brockman

Busy, busy week on the perv beat.

There were guilty pleas and sentences in cases involving a caregiver who sexually assaulted a senior lady patient and a prisoner who had unlawful sex with an underage teen girl and pimped her out from behind bars.

A retired teacher was also found guilty of raping girls in the Philippines and creating child porn from the attacks.

There are also charges against a store employee accused of taking up-skirt photos, a daycare worker who allegedly molested two little girls and two men tied to the kidnapping of two girls and repeated rape of one of them in 1999.

So let's get right to it.

Antonio Romano Caserta pleaded guilty Thursday to having unlawful sexual intercourse with a 14-year-old girl and pimping her out from behind bars. He was then sentenced to 14 years and eight months in state prison and ordered to register as a sex offender for life, according to the Orange County District Attorney's office. Between Feb. 22 and March 14, 2014, the 26-year-old Huntington Beach resident began grooming the girl for prostitution and had unlawful sex with her on numerous occasions. The following November, Caserta was convicted and sentenced to six years and one month in state prison for furnishing a controlled substance to a minor, unlawful sexual intercourse and sexual penetration by a foreign object of a minor in Orange County. That month through June 2015, while still in custody, he had about 1,400 phone calls with the girl, making sexually explicit remarks, encouraging her to engage in phone sex and instructing her to prostitute herself out for his benefit, said prosecutors, who added he threatened her from reporting their interactions. The case against Caserta was unraveled by the Huntington Beach Police Department, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force. Caserta copped to felony human trafficking of a minor, dissuading a witness by force or threat, unlawful sexual intercourse and committing a lewd act upon a child.

Robert Ruben Ornelas
Robert Ruben Ornelas
Orange County Sheriff's Department

Robert Ruben Ornelas, a 65-year-old retired Santa Ana Unified School District teacher and girls softball coach, was found guilty in federal court Thursday of sexually assaulting girls in the Philippines on three occasions and possessing and producing child pornography. In 2006, 2008 and 2012, Ornelas sexually assaulted two girls who were as young as age 8, took videos of the molestations and brought the child porn back to the United States. An investigation began after a relative of Ornelas' found the child porn on his computer. The girls he molested came to the U.S. to testify against him. He faces up to 190 years in federal prison at sentencing scheduled for Feb. 27, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Ornelas resides in Santa Ana and taught in city from 1992 to 2003.

Robert Dumlao Ligayo, a former caregiver, was sentenced last Tuesday to a year in jail, three years probation and a lifetime of registering as a sex offender for sexually assaulting a 66-year-old disabled woman. Ligayo, 65, worked at Salus Home Care and was hired to take care of the victim and her husband in Aliso Viejo because their disabilities prevented them from properly caring for themselves, according to the OCDA. Between January and June of 2013, Ligayo sexually assaulted the woman despite her numerous attempts to stop him. She reported the crime to the Orange County Sheriff's Department, which investigated this case and arrested Ligayo on June 17, 2013. The Aliso Viejo resident pleaded guilty on Aug. 15, 2016, to felony sexual battery.

Daniel Antonio Martinez, 18, was charged Friday with three felony counts of lewd acts upon a child under 14 and three felony counts of sexual penetration with a child under 10 years old, with sentencing enhancement allegations for multiple victims and substantial sexual contact with a child, according to the OCDA. The worker at a licensed daycare in the 700 block of South Dale Avenue in Anaheim is accused of molesting two girls, ages 6 and 7, between Aug. 1-Nov. 9 of this year, when he allegedly touched and penetrated their vaginas. The younger girl told a family member of the pain she was suffering the same day Martinez allegedly penetrated her, and the Anaheim Police Department was called. Detectives from that agency arrested Martinez after questioning him Wednesday. The Buena Park resident is being held on $1 million bail at the Orange County Jail. Right now, based on the charges, Martinez faces up to 75 years to life in state prison and mandatory lifetime sex offender registration if convicted, but because of his job authorities fear there may be more victims (which can lead to more charges). If that is you or someone you know, contact Supervising District Attorney Investigator Brad Tanner at 714.347.8794.

Matthew Torres was arrested last week by Irvine Police officers after allegedly getting caught taking photos underneath a female customer's skirt at the HomeGoods store where he worked. The woman felt her skirt move while in the store at 6214 Irvine Blvd. on Nov. 12, whipped around and saw 22-year-old Torres holding a cellphone toward and up her garment, according to the police. When she confronted him, he ran toward a restricted area of the store. Officers arrived, contacted Torres and he allegedly admitted to the activity and consented to a search of his phone. "Police discovered a high number of inappropriate photographs, and the victim was able to identify photos of herself," reads a department advisory. Irvine Police are now asking female customers who have visited the store since September, and who believe they may have been a victim, to contact Detective Sarah Tunnicliffe at 949.724.7170 or stunnicliffe@cityofirvine.org. Police, who believe there are dozens of potential victims in this case, say HomeGoods store management is assisting in identifying potential victims.

Ismael Salgado of Chicago and Jose Plascencia of Laveen, Arizona, were arrested by Santa Ana Police Department detectives for a "brazen" 1999 kidnapping of two girls and the rape of one. On Feb. 3 of that year, an 11-year-old girl was casually walking home with a friend near Jerome Center, where a car pulled alongside them and two men tried to entice them inside. The first girl refused to enter, but one male grabbed her and forced her inside the car with her friend. They were driven out of the area and at one point they tried to escape, something that proved successful for the second girl but not the 11-year-old, who was pulled back inside the car. She was driven to two different parking lots, and both men sexually assaulted her at both. They later released her, and the crime was reported to Santa Ana Police.

The case went cold until early this year, when detectives submitted crime scene evidence to the Orange County Crime Lab for DNA testing. One of two male DNA profiles in statewide and national databases was matched to Salgado, while the second was determined to be that of an unidentified male who was not in the system. Detectives investigated Salgado’s background and learned he lived in Santa Ana for much of his life and only recently moved to Chicago. They also identified Plascencia as an associate from Salgado's Santa Ana days. Salgado was arrested last month on suspicion of kidnapping to commit a sex offense and forcible rape and returned to Orange County. Meanwhile, Arizona Attorney General investigators followed Plascencia for several days and retrieved a discarded plastic water bottle from which he had been drinking. Santa Ana detectives recovered the bottle, submitted it to the crime lab for analysis and got a DNA match from the '99 sexual assault evidence, according to police. He was arrested Nov. 6—on a warrant alleging the same charges Salgado faces—at a border crossing in Nogales, Arizona. Plascencia was flown back to Orange County, where he joins Salgado, who like him is 36, in being held on $1 million bail in Orange County Jail as they await trial.


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