More victims sought after 73-year-old patient accuses nurse of sex crimes in Santa Ana

Local news
Gabriel Arce is seen in an undated booking photo released Oct. 14, 2020, by the Santa Ana Police Department.
Gabriel Arce is seen in an undated booking photo released Oct. 14, 2020, by the Santa Ana Police Department.

Detectives say there may be additional victims after a nurse was arrested on suspicion of sexually battering a 73-year-old woman in his care in Santa Ana.

Gabriel Arce, 46, worked for more than one year as a nurse and unit supervisor at South Coast Post Acute, the rehabilitation and memory care center where the incident occurred, Santa Ana police said in a Wednesday news release.

Arce was arrested Oct. 8, following an investigation into the victim’s allegation that he exposed his penis and brushed it against her hand while he was supposed to be providing medical care.

The woman uses a wheelchair and was unable to escape the abuse, officials said.

Police say there was also a witness to the crime who provided a statement.

Arce was booked on suspicion of sexual battery, indecent exposure and elder abuse, and was later released on bail, authorities said.

Because Arce has been employed by nursing facilities in Santa Ana and Long Beach since 2011, investigators believe he could have additional victims.

Anyone with information can contact Santa Ana police Detective Corona at 714-245-8343. Anonymous tips may be submitted to Orange County Crime Stoppers at 855-847-6227.

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