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OC Man Charged In Sexual Assault Of Boy In Tustin Library

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SANTA ANA (CBS) — A registered sex offender was charged Tuesday with sexually assaulting a 13-year-old boy in a Tustin library bathroom and an 18-year-old man in a bathroom at John Wayne Airport.

Anaheim Hills resident Robert Howard Claudio, 23, is accused of approaching the 18-year-old man at John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana on Aug. 27 and then following him into a bathroom and under a stall, Deputy District Attorney Jana Hoffmann said.

While together in the stall, Claudio tried to pull the man’s underwear down and asked him to engage in oral and anal sex, Hoffmann alleged. The man struggled to get out of the stall and reported the incident to Orange County sheriff’s deputies, Hoffmann said.

Charges were not filed then because investigators could not find any other corroborating evidence at the time, Hoffmann said.

On Friday afternoon, Claudio allegedly approached the 13-year-old boy at the Tustin library, 345 E. Main St., while he waited for his mother to pick him up, Hoffmann said. Claudio is accused of having the boy go into the library’s bathroom with him where the defendant allegedly molested him, Hoffmann said.

The boy ran out of the bathroom to a Tustin police station nearby, where he reported the incident, Hoffmann said.

Investigators suspect there may be more victims, Hoffmann said. Anyone with information related to the case was asked to call Tustin detective Pam Hardacre at (714) 573-3248 or Supervising District Attorney investigator Lou Gutierrez at (714) 347-8794.

Claudio was charged with three felony counts of lewd acts on a child younger than 14, a felony count of false imprisonment by violence, a felony count of sexual battery by restraint, and a misdemeanor count of battery, with a sentencing enhancement allegation of substantial sexual conduct with a child, according to Hoffmann.

Claudio, who was arrested Friday and was being held on $2 million bail, could face up to 14 years in prison if he is convicted at trial, Hoffmann said.

» RELATED: Registered Sex Offender Allegedly Rapes Boy, 13, Inside Tustin Library

(©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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.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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