Crime

A 19-year-old man arrested on child molestation charge. He told cops they were dating

Juventino Garcia
Juventino Garcia PORTERVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT

Police in Porterville arrested a man on suspicion that he molested a 12-year-old girl last month.

There may be more victims, police said.

The suspect, 19-year-old Juventino Garcia, posed as a 16-year and picked up the girl from her home in early January under the guise of taking her to play with his sister, police said in a news release. He was taken into custody Friday at his home in Porterville.

Upon arrest, Garcia admitted to dating the victim, police said, and claimed he did not know her age until after the relationship began. Garcia was with another girl, a 14-year-old whom he identified as his girlfriend, at the time of his arrest, police said.

He was booked into custody of Tulare County Sheriff’s Office and charged with child molestation and communication with a minor to arrange sex.

Based on the evidence collected so far, police believe there may be more unreported victims and urge anyone who may have been in questionable contact with the suspect to contact Detective Orlando Ortiz at 559-782-7400.

Joshua Tehee: 559-441-6479, @joshuatehee

Joshua Tehee covers breaking news, with a focus on entertainment and a heavy emphasis on the Central Valley music scene. You can see him share the area’s top entertainment options Friday mornings on KMPH’s “Great Day.”


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