Ex-Teacher Already Facing Child Sex Charges in OC Arrested in Federal Sexual Tourism Case

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A booking photo of Robert Ruben Ornelas, 63, from his arrest in Orange County in 2013. (Credit: FBI)

A 63-year-old former teacher, already facing molestation charges in Santa Ana, was in federal custody Monday accused of traveling to the Philippines to engage in sex with an underage girl and producing a video of the encounter.

Robert Ruben Ornelas, 63, was taken into federal custody Friday afternoon after being named in a criminal complaint filed in United States District Court, according to a news release from the United States Attorney’s Office.

The three-count complaint alleged that Ornelas traveled to the Philippines in March 2012, where he engaged in sexual conduct with a girl who was approximately 14.

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Robert Ruben Ornelas in a driver’s license photo, left, and booking photo, right. (Credit: FBI)

Ornelas also took video of his encounter with the girl and brought the images with him when he returned the U.S. the following month, according to the affidavit in the case.

The affidavit also includes evidence linking him to the sexual molestation of other victims, the release stated.

Information and images found on Orenelas’ computer and digital media uncovered communications between Ornelas and several underage girls in the Philippines dating back to 2007, the release stated.

Investigators also found numerous sexually explicit photos and videos of other underage girls, according to the release.

Charges were still pending against Ornelas in Orange County following his arrest in June 2013 on two counts of lewd conduct with a child for allegedly molesting a relative from 1990 to 1995.

Investigators with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department’s Child Exploitation Task Force began investigating Ornelas after his own brother made a disturbing discovery on his computer.

“I went onto his internet and a found lewd things in there, so I went to the FBI,” brother Ross Ornelas said back in 2013.

Ornelas worked as a teacher with the Santa Ana School District from 1992 to 2003, authorities said. He coached a local girls softball team during the same period.

He was also believed to have worked in or around an unlicensed daycare facility operated near his residence throughout the 1980s and possibly the early 1990s.

He was being held without bail on the federal charges and was ordered to appear at an arraignment on Nov. 10.

The federal charges carry a cumulative maximum sentence of 80 years in federal prison.

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