Fmr. Teacher Arrested for Molestation After Tip From Brother

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SANTA ANA, Calif. (KTLA) — Authorities on Thursday announced the arrest of a former teacher and day care worker in Santa Ana in a child molestation case that may go back decades.


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

Robert Ruben Ornelas, 62, was arrested on Tuesday after police served a search warrant at his home in the 13000 block of Prospect Avenue.

He was accused of molesting a girl, 12 years old or younger, from 1990 to 1995, according to a news release from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

The Orange County Child Exploitation Task Force began investigating Ornelas back in April 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.

Task force members executed the search warrant on Ornelas home after receiving the tip.

They were also advised that Ornelas had made incriminating statements about molesting a minor female in the early 1990s, sheriff’s officials said.

During the search, the task force found “a large quantity” of child pornography, according to the news release.

They also uncovered evidence that there may be several additional victims of molestation, some possibly dating back to the 1980s, authorities said.

Ornelas was being held on $1,000,000 bail.

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.

Anyone with information was asked to contact the Orange County Sheriff’s Department at (714) 647-7000 or the FBI’s Orange County Office at (714) 939-8699.

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