Salinas school district employee arrested for attempting to have sex with a minor

SALINAS, Calif. - UPDATED 7/21/2017 10:00 p.m. A Santa Rita School District employee is now in jail after sending inappropriate messages to a 13 year-old.

Police say 32-year old Jesus Ortega was talking with the girl through email. Once her mom found out, she called police, now they want to know if there are other victims.

Jesus Ortega started sending inappropriate emails in May, eventually sending a picture to the 13-year old girl.

Ortega lives in Prunedale and worked for the Santa Rita School District in the IT Department.

"She thought it was someone closer to her own age and that's the kind of game this person was planning," Commander Mike Groves with the Salinas Police Department said.

Police aren't saying how it all started but, they say Ortega made the first contact.

"He was able to contact her," Groves said, "So it looked like he took the aggressive move to contact her."

About a month after it started, the girls mom found out and called police.

"We basically got involved and took over that account with the mother's permission and just arranged basically to actually have this person meet with who he thought was the 13 year-old girl," Groves said.

That's when Ortega was arrested, experts say it's a good reminder to pay attention to your child's online activity.

"Video games, WhatsApp, Kik, Instagram, Facebook, all of the regular social media and all of the ones that are coming out newly" said Lauren DaSilva, Deputy Director of the Monterey County Rape Crisis Center. "It's really important to just know the ages and the content of the conversations that kids are having with people who they might think are children that are actually adults."

If you do find something suspicious, let police know.

"It's so important," Groves said. "The earlier you can head that off the better."

Police encourage anyone who knows anything to come forward.

If you'd like to find out more about the Monterey County Rape Crisis Center click here

They also have 24 hour crisis lines you can reach at 831-375-4357 or 831-424-4357.


PREVIOUS STORY: An employee of the Santa Rita School District in Salinas is behind bars for allegedly emailing a minor inappropriate messages and a picture. 

According to the Salinas Police Department, 32-year-old Jesus Ortega of Prunedale had been emailing a 13-year-old girl since May. 

On July 6, the mother contacted Salinas Police regarding inappropriate messages she found on her daughters email account. A detective took over the email account and began conversations with Ortega. 

According to police, Ortega repeatedly emailed what he thought was a 13-year-old girl. Police said the conversations turned sexual and Ortega sent an explicit picture. 

Police said, on July 20, Ortega set up a meeting with the victim with the intent to commit sexual acts. Detectives arrested Ortega when he was on his way to meet the victim. Police conducted a search warrant at his home in Prunedale, where electronic devices were confiscated. 

The Santa Rita School District is cooperating with the investigation and has given police access to Ortega's work-related electronics. 

Ortega was transported to the Monterey County Jail and booked for charges that include, annoying a child, distributing obscene material, sending harmful matter to seduce a minor, communicate with minor to commit offense, and abnormal seuxal interest in children and others. 

The Investigations Bureau asks for the public's help with information on any inappropriate contact Ortega may have had with other minors. Anyone with information is urged to call Detective Jared Siverston at 831-758-7132. 

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