Two young women walked into the Lathrop Police Department on Friday to report that they were the victims of ongoing sexual abuse two years ago when they were living in Lathrop.
By Saturday the man that they claimed abused them – 57-year-old Riverbank resident Genaro Bernal – was in custody.
According to the Lathrop Police, the investigation began on Nov. 24 when the two females came into the department to report the crime. Officers were quickly able to determine the validity of the allegations and authored an arrest warrant that was submitted to a San Joaquin County judge for approval, and once signed was served at Bernal’s residence in Riverbank with the assistance of the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office.
And there may be more victims.
According to the Lathrop Police, after Bernal was read his Miranda rights he was interviewed and admitted to the crimes as well as others.
“The Lathrop Police Department is proud of these brave victims for coming forward and proud of our officers' determination to bring the suspect to justice,” the agency wrote in the release announcing the arrest. “We would like to thank our partners at the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department for their continued support.”
Bernal is currently being held on $1 million bail – Lathrop Police initially announced that his bail was initially set at $5 million – at the San Joaquin County Jail on charges that include lewd and lascivious acts with a minor under the age of 14, sexual battery, penetration with a foreign object on a victim under the age of 14, continuous sexual abuse of a child, sexual penetration with force on a victim under the age of 14, and intimately touching a person against their will.
He is scheduled to appear at the San Joaquin County Superior Courthouse in Stockton today at 1:30 p.m. to answer to the charges.
To contact Bulletin reporter Jason Campbell email firstname.lastname@example.org.