CAMARILLO (CBSLA.com) — When a single mother to a 1-year-old boy needed to find an affordable place to live, she turned to Craigslist.
As she explains, one ad offering a room for rent for $850 in Camarillo jumped out at her.
The ad stated that a fellow single mother was looking to rent a room in her spacious Camarillo home.
“No drugs, drinking, alcohol, no pets. There was a lot of space. There was gonna be like our own big room,” explain the woman, who asked CBS2 not to reveal her identity.
The woman says that when she went to go look at the room and give her deposit, she met the live-in boyfriend of the woman who was renting out the room: Adam Esquivel.
“I was really surprised because it never said anything about having, you know, another male in the home,” she said.
The mother says she was assured Esquivel was being deployed with the Navy soon and would be gone by the time she moved in.
But, she says, something didn’t feel right, so she did some research.
“When I Googled him, the first thing that came up was a news article accusing him of molesting a three-year-old child,” she said.
Esquivel was convicted in June of repeatedly molesting a toddler who was the granddaughter of his next-door neighbor. He is actually the owner of the home the woman was all set to move into.
“I can’t even describe the feeling. The pit in my stomach that I felt, you know. I shook this man’s hand and I was in his home. He was very welcoming to my son and I and our situation,” she said.
Esquivel has been out on $350,000 bail since his arrest more than a year ago.
He now has a three-month-old baby with his girlfriend. He hasn’t had to register as a sex offender, but will after his sentencing in a week. The prosecutor is recommending 16 years in prison.
The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department says renters can protect themselves from potentially dangerous roommates by conducting an Internet search or paying for a background check.
The woman says she is happy she followed her intuition.
“We were so close to being in something we wouldn’t have been able to escape,” she said.