Fugitive Wanted in Sexual Assault Caseof 13 Year Old Moorpark Girl

Ventura County Sheriff – Incident Press Release

Jose Vaca

In April of 2016, a 13-year-old Moorpark resident reported being the victim of continuous sexual abuse by a known suspect. Detectives followed up on the case and obtained evidence linking 34 year old Jose Vaca, a Moorpark resident, to the crimes.

During the course of the investigation, Vaca is believed to have fled to Mexico.

On June 3, 2016, a detective presented the facts of the case to the Ventura County District

Attorney’s Office with a declaration for an arrest warrant. The warrant declaration was signed by a judge on June 3, 2016 for section 288.5(a) of the California Penal Code – continuous sexual abuse of a minor.

Eighteen months later, on January 1, 2018, Jose Vaca was found in Ventura County and arrested for the outstanding $100,000 warrant. He was booked at the Pre-Trial Detention Facility in Ventura at 7:18 p.m. Vaca posted a bond and was released from jail on January 2, 2018 at 8:21p.m. Prior to his release, the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) sent an immigration hold for Vaca.

Sheriff’s deputies did not notify ICE of Vaca’s pending release, because the new law under Senate Bill 54 would not allow the notification under the circumstances. Although Vaca was arrested for a qualifying serious or violent offense, SB 54 requires that the arrestee has been arrested, booked and appeared before a judge prior to ICE being notified. In Vaca’s case, he posted bail before he had appeared in court.

When he was released from jail, Vaca was ordered to appear in court on January 19, 2018.

However, he did not appear in court as required by law. A bench warrant was issued for Vaca’s arrest for $250,000. The victim has been notified of the circumstances in this case. She is safely living out of state with family, and there is no threat to her or her family at this time.

Vaca has not been located, and investigators believe he fled to Mexico. Detectives are actively trying to locate Vaca.

Due to a federal court ruling in 2014, jails in western states are prohibited from holding inmates beyond their scheduled release dates for ICE without a federal warrant. An ICE detainer or “hold” is not a federal warrant.

Ventura County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 reward for information, which leads to the arrest and criminal complaint against the person(s) responsible for this crime. The caller may remain anonymous. The call is not recorded. Call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).

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