The twin brother of an Orange Cove man accused of molesting a 7-year-old girl has been getting death threats in a case of mistaken identity, according to the girl’s mother.
She wants people to know that while the two have the same first and last name and look alike, they couldn’t be more different.
The woman is not being identified so as not to identify her daughter, the alleged victim.
The woman said her twin sister was going with a man who also was a twin, and they were introduced five years ago. The couple were together until Thursday, when she said she learned her 22-year-old boyfriend was molesting her daughter.
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Police said Thursday that Juan Carlos Perez, who turned himself into police, was accused of three or more sex offenses on a child under 14; lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14; sexual battery; lewd and lascivious acts with a juvenile by a caretaker; and sexual penetration with a foreign object by force.
He is being held in the Fresno County Jail on $285,000 bail.
Orange Cove police were investigating threats made via social media on Saturday morning, says Fresno County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Ron Hayes.
The girl’s mother says people in Orange Cove, Reedley and nearby towns are now sending threatening messages to her brother-in-law, Juan Jose Perez, and his family, who are now making plans to flee the state.
The woman said that not only is Juan Jose Perez innocent, but he is the one who helped put his brother in jail.
The woman says she tried to call police after she found her boyfriend molesting her daughter but she was afraid he’d hurt her, so she called his brother instead.
She says Juan Carlos Perez backed off and let her phone the police after hearing his brother on the phone. “He helped me,” she says. “He defended me and took (his brother) out of the house.”
She said her twin sister, her husband and their kids are now paying for her ex’s crimes.
“We’ve been getting calls all morning asking, ‘did they arrest the right guy?’ ” she said. “My sister is getting messages – ‘why are you with that sick pig?’ They are saying she’s going to hell with him (Juan Jose) because they think he did it.”
She says there is no doubt the right person is behind bars. “I saw him when he walked in the police station.”
If people are worried that Juan Carlos Perez is free, there’s a way to tell him apart from his brother, she says. Juan Carlos has several chest tattoos and a tattoo of a cross and a rosary on his right arm.
The family has called police about the threats, but so far, nothing has helped.
A lot of people in Orange Cove know him,” the woman said, “but a lot of people, especially on the internet, don’t know he’s a twin.”