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East Hemet Man Accused Of Sexually Abusing Female Relative For 10 Years

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

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HEMET (CBS) — A East Hemet man suspected of sexually abusing a young female family member over a ten year period was arrested Wednesday.

Efrain Rivera Bernal, 41, was arrested on suspicion of lewd acts on a minor, forced oral copulation of a child and continuous sexual abuse of a minor. Bernal is being held in lieu of $75,000 bail at the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta.

According to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, an investigation of Bernal was initiated last week after a tipster alleged that he was taking sexually-oriented photographs of teenage girls, claiming it was part of a religious ceremony.

Investigators obtained a search warrant to examine the contents of Bernal’s residence in the 42000 block of Acacia Ave. Sheriff’s officials said that during interviews with occupants of the house, investigators learned Bernal had been reportedly “sexually abusing an adult female family member since she was a child,” according to an agency statement.

The woman, whose name was not released, had been victimized for 10 years, according to sheriff’s officials.

Bernal was taken into custody without incident around noon today.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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