SANTA ANA (CBSLA.com) — A man who works as a clown was charged Friday with sexually assaulting two young girls, and authorities asked for the public’s help to identify more potential victims.
Gualberto Torres-Vargas, 37, of Huntington Beach, was charged Friday with 10 counts of sex-related charges involving two girls under the age of 10 years old. He is scheduled to be arraigned Friday.
Torres-Vargas was initially charged on Nov. 23 with five felony counts of assaulting 9-year-old Jane Doe 1 between Nov. 1, 2014 and Nov. 9, 2015. The complaint was amended Friday to reflect additional charges involving Jane Doe 1 and a second victim, identified only as 5-year-old Jane Doe 2. Prosecutors say Torres-Vargas met Jane Doe 2 and molested her during the same time period.
At the time of the crimes, Torres-Vargas worked as a clown performer on the weekends and had access to children, Orange County District Attorney’s officials said.
Torres-Vargas did not meet the girls while working as a clown and was not related to them, but did live in close proximity to them, Huntington Beach police spokeswoman Jennifer Marlatt said.
A booking photo of Torres-Vargas, or an image of him in his clown costume, would not be released, Marlatt said. Detectives did not yet have his stage name.
If convicted as charged, Torres-Vargas faces a maximum sentence of 175 years to life in state prison.
Anyone with more information or who believes they may have been a victim can contact Supervising District Attorney Investigator Mark Gutierrez at (714) 347-8794.