SANTA ANA (CBSLA.com) — Two men are accused of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old Mission Viejo high school student they met through an online dating website.
Benjamin Avila, 26, of Anaheim, has been charged with eight counts of lewd or lascivious acts with a minor. Jose Luis Gonzalez, 63, also of Anaheim, faces a dozen counts of lewd or lascivious acts with a minor.
A parent reportedly told a resource officer at Trabuco Hills High School about an alleged “inappropriate relationship” between a teen and a man, according to Orange County sheriff’s Lt. Jeff Hallock.
The girl then told investigators she had a sexual relationship with a man she described as her boyfriend and called Alex Valesquez; that man was later determined to be Avila, Hallock said.
The alleged victim also said she had sex with a man she called “Alex’s uncle,” who was identified as Gonzalez.
Hallock said Avila manipulated the victim to have sex with Gonzalez.
“The victim felt like she needed to initiate, or have some type of sexual contact relationship with Gonzalez, in order to continue her … what she thought was a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship with Avila,” he said.
The alleged molestation continued from March until September, Hallock said.
Authorities are concerned there may be other victims.
Hallock said text messages and phone calls between the suspects indicated they targeted and met other girls for sex.
Gonzalez was previously accused of molestation in 2000, but the case was dismissed. Some of the latest charges against him, however, date back to April 1998.
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