A Santa Ana man has been arrested on suspicion of molesting nearly a dozen boys over the last two years, and police say they believe there may be more victims.
Edwin Echeverria, 22, was taken into custody Wednesday on suspicion of multiple counts of child molestation and is expected to be arraigned Friday afternoon on 14 felony counts of lewd conduct with a child.
The Orange County District's office said they will asked that Echeverria be held on $1 million bail. Echeverria faces a possible sentence of 275 years in prison if convicted on all counts.
Echeverria befriended the boys, who range in age from 10 to 14, by selling them soda and chips from his apartment in the 700 block of South Lyon Street, Santa Ana police said. He established a “rapport and trust” with the boys and persuaded them to engage in sex acts with him, police said in a statement.
The crimes began in August 2012 and the latest molestation incident occurred two weeks ago, police said.
Police said they began investigating Echeverria after the parents of one of the victims discovered their son might be involved in an inappropriate relationship with an adult.
According to the police statement, detectives have interviewed eight of the boys involved in the case, and are trying to locate three others they believe were molested.
The statement described the number of victims as “extraordinary" and said authorities believe that there may be more victims who have yet to come forward.
Police are asking anyone with information about Echeverria or potential victims to call detectives in the family crimes division at (714) 245-8542 or Orange County Crime Stoppers at (855) 847-6227.
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