ORANGE (CBSLA.com) — A former teacher has been charged with sexually assaulting a female relative in the 1990s beginning when the child was 5-years-old, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
Sixty-two-year-old Robert Ornelas, of Santa Ana, is charged with two felony counts of lewd acts on a child with sentencing enhancement allegations for substantial sexual conduct with a child, according to a press release from the D.A.
He is accused of molesting the victim while she was visiting his home, including masturbation and oral copulation, between 1990 and 1996.
If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in state prison.
Authorities told KCAL9 News Thursday Ornelas is being held on $100,000 bail.
The D.A. says members of the Orange County Child Exploitation Task Force (OCCETF) searched the defendant’s home on June 11, 2013 after receiving information of possible possession of child pornography.
The suspect’s brother, Ross Ornelas, told KCAL9 he was the one who called the FBI and turned his younger brother in after stumbling upon pornographic images on his sibling’s computer in April.
“When we looked in his computer, I found something that was bad, and that’s when I contacted the police or the FBI. They did the rest,” Ross Ornelas said.
When executing a search warrant at the home, investigators say they found boxes of older photos as well as digital evidence on the defendant’s computer that showed there have been multiple victims of molestation, including Jane Doe.
It is alleged the defendant sexually abused dozens of toddlers and young girls and took pictures of the crimes, spanning three decades.
Investigators say hundreds of photos of children have been seized.
Ornelas is accused of having access to children as a teacher with the Santa Ana Unified School District from 1992 to 2003 and while coaching a girls’ softball team.
Officials from the Santa Ana Unified School District have issued a statement in response to the ongoing investigation.
“We are deeply troubled to learn that a former substitute teacher, who last worked in our district in 2003, allegedly engaged in this reprehensible behavior and took advantage of the trust inherent in his profession,” the statement reads in part.
Investigators say Ornelas may have also worked in or around an unlicensed day care facility throughout the 1980s and possibly into the 1990s. Relatives and the children of family friends were cared for there.
The investigation into the child pornography is ongoing.
Anyone with additional information or who believes they have been a victim is encouraged to contact Supervising District Attorney Investigator Paul Carvo at (714) 347-8794, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) at (714) 647-7000, or the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Orange County Office at (714) 939-8699.