Authorities put out an alert this morning for fugitive Jesus Gomez Montes, who is accused of sexually assaulting three girls under age 10 in homes he shared with them. A $1 million arrest warrant has been issued for the Lake Forest 34-year-old, who could receive a 130-year prison sentence if captured and convicted of the charges pending against him.
Between 2002 and 2005, Montes lived in at least two multi-bedroom homes in Lake Forest shared by multiple families, according to the Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA). He allegedly got to the girls in these homes and assaulted them sexually, the OCDA alleges.
In April, one girl told a school counselor about the sexual assault from a decade earlier, prompting contact with the Orange County Sheriff's Department, which launched an investigation. That uncovered the two other girls, and Montes was later charged with a felony count of sexual intercourse with a child 10 years or younger and seven felony counts of lewd acts on a child under 14, with sentencing allegations for having more than one victim and substantial sexual conduct with a child.
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Meanwhile, he's gone missing, so the OCDA and sheriff's department have released his description: Hispanic, 5-feet-7, 170 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. He may be driving a 2004 gold Nissan Murano California license plate 6PWE354, and he may be somewhere in South County, including Laguna Beach or Lake Forest, or Riverside County, where he has relatives.
Anyone with information regarding Montes' whereabouts or who believes they have been a victim is encouraged to contact Supervising District Attorney Investigator Lou Gutierrez at 714.347.8794. Anonymous tips can be left with Orange County Crime Stoppers at 1.855.TIP.OCCS.
Besides a maximum 130 years in prison, Montes faces lifetime sex offender registration if convicted.