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Man, 21, jailed on sex charges with 12-year-old
Hector Abel Martin-Matias

The search for a missing 12-year-old former French Camp Elementary School student on Tuesday resulted in the arrest of a 21-year-old man believed to be involved in an unlawful sexual relationship with the girl. 

Hector Abel Martin-Matias, 21, was arrested by the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday after the girl – who was seen getting into his vehicle outside of the school that she no longer attends – was found safe.

“Thanks to an observant school employee who recognized the child as a past student but not the driver and alerted the mother of the child, our office was contacted,” the sheriff’s office wrote in a Facebook post. “A thorough investigation done by patrol deputies and detectives from the Child Abuse and Sexual Assault United located the child safe and unharmed. 

“However, the investigation also discovered an unlawful relationship between the child and the adult male.”

Martin-Matias was arrested and booked into the San Joaquin County Jail on charges of lewd or lascivious acts with a child under the age of 14, continuous sexual abuse of a child, and unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor – all of which are felonies. He is currently being held on $1,550,000 bail, and is scheduled to appear in Department 1 of the Manteca branch of the San Joaquin County Superior Court at 1:25 p.m. today. 

The arrest came just days after detectives from the agency’s child abuse and sexual assault unit wrapped up a week-long sting investigation that netted 19 people who had attempted to meet what they believed to be a 13-year-old child for sex through popular online sites such as Craigslist.  

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.