Ventura County

Ventura mom thinks suspect in beach assault may have struck before

Sexual battery at Ventura Beach

VENTURA, Calif. - Ventura Police Department is investigating a possible sexual battery that took place at the beach Monday afternoon.

No suspect has been found, but a local mother says she’s convinced it’s the same man she saw taking pictures of underage girls just a few months ago.

Christina Guerrero took video of a man who she says was filming young girls at a Ventura beach back in April.

“I was asleep, my daughter was awake, and a couple of the cheerleaders from Ventura High School had walked by and they laid down about 100 feet from us,” said Guerrero. “It wasn’t more than 20 minutes later that my daughter woke me up and said, 'Mom, he’s not with them.' And I looked and there was a gentlemen holding his cell phone at their feet while they laid on their bellies facing away from the ocean and he was filming them.”

She decided to run after him and got video and pictures of the man.

“I knew it wasn’t against the law that he was taking pictures of these minors,” said Guerrero.

On Monday, something similar happened. Ventura police say they were notified by California State Parks of a possible sexual battery between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. A 20-year-old woman was by herself lying on the beach with a shirt covering her face when she felt someone close by.

“She noticed an individual standing over her and video taping her,” said Tom Higgins, Public Information Officer at the Ventura Police Department. “She got up and the suspect reached for the top of her bathing suit to try to take it off. She then screamed and the suspect ran off.”

Police have not made an arrest. The man being sought is described as Hispanic man between 30 and 40 years old, with dark hair standing about 5-foot-7.

This latest incident happened on Drift Wood Lane, just a few blocks over from where Guerrero and her daughter had their encounter.

“I am 99 percent sure it is the same guy,” said Guerrero. “I have a very strong feeling it is the same guy and I think he lives in the area, because he is able to disappear really quick.”

“It is not illegal to take photos at the beach, but obviously if there is somebody there that is not a willing participant of taking the photos then that would be a crime, or if the individual is doing it for some kind of sexual pleasure, that is where it becomes a crime,” said Higgins.

As summer is just around the corner, police encourage everyone to be aware of their surroundings. 

Guerrero says she feels its important for girls not to travel alone.

“There was hardly anyone on the beach should those girls needed help,” said Guerrero.

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