A search of a former Santa Ana teacher’s home in Orange County turned up a large cache of child pornography and charges that the man molested one of his relatives, authorities said Thursday.
Robert Ruben Ornelas, 62, is charged with two counts of lewd acts on a child, a sentencing enhancement of substantial sexual conduct with a child, and faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted. He is being held in lieu of $1-million bail at Orange County Jail and is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday afternoon.
The case stems from a search of Ornelas’ home in Santa Ana, where, based on information given to the Orange County Crimes Against Children Task Force, police discovered a “large quantity” of child pornography and evidence there may be more victims dating back to the 1980s.
Ornelas was a teacher in the Santa Ana school district from 1992 to 2003 and also coached a girl’s softball team. Authorities say he also worked at a day care facility near his home for about a decade.
It was in the early 1990s that prosecutors say he began molesting a female relative; she was 5 years old.
Authorities are now asking for the public’s help finding any other alleged victims. Anyone with information is asked to call the Orange County Sheriff’s Department at (714) 647-7000 or the FBI’s Orange County office at (714) 939-8699.